Australia's travel insurance expert Cover-More has been bought by global group Zurich

Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images

Australia’s Cover-More Group is being bought for $741 million by Zurich as part of the global group’s plans to expand into the travel insurance business.

The offer is $1.95 cash. The shares last traded at $1.315.

“This reflects the strategic value of Cover-More’s business including its strong market position, global distribution footprint and its ability to deliver growth into the future,” says Cover-More chairman Louis Carroll.

CEO Mike Emmett says CoverMore will be well positioned to accelerate growth in the global travel insurance market with access to Zurich’s global platform.

“This is an acknowledgement of our expanding global footprint, specialist travel insurance capability and market-leading partnerships in key markets,” he says.

Zurich Insurance, which is headquartered in Switzerland where it was founded in 1872, says it wants to develop a position in the fast-growing travel insurance industry.

“The proposed acquisition is an excellent fit with Zurich’s strategy for its retail business and should create significant value for the group,” says Jack Howell, Zurich’s CEO Asia Pacific.

“It will further strengthen our position and expertise in the global travel insurance market and support our ambition to expand our distribution partnerships.”

Under Zurich ownership, Cover-More will operate as a standalone entity and will retain its brand.

Cover-More has appointed KPMG Corporate Finance as the independent expert to prepare a report on whether the bid is in the best interests of shareholders.

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