Aviva has agreed a deal to buy insurer Friends First Life Assurance for a cash consideration of €130m.

The company said that as a result of the deal, Aviva will become one of the largest insurers in Ireland.

It said its market share in life insurance would increase to 15%, alongside its existing leading 15% market share in general insurance.

Friends First is currently owned by Dutch insurer Achmea Holding.

It has been operating in Ireland for over 180 years and focuses on life protection, pension and investment products for individuals and companies. 

Friends First has over 250,000 customers, a market share of 6% and is a market leader in group risk and income protection. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2018.

Aviva said the deal is in line with its strategy to expand in markets where it has scale or competitive advantage and where it can further expand its range of products across life and general insurance.

With almost one million customers, Aviva employs 1,200 people across three locations in Dublin, Galway and Cork.

It is part of the Aviva Group, which has 33 million customers across 16 markets in Europe, Asia and Canada.