Australia’s Suncorp has launched a takeover of New Zealand insurer Tower, going on market to grab a significant stake from under the nose of a rival bidder.
The company announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Vero Insurance New Zealand, acquired 11.14% of the ordinary shares in Tower and wants to take that holding to 19.9% via on market buying.
Suncorp has also made a takeover offer for 100% of Tower at NZ$1.30 a share.
“The proposed acquisition supports our vision to be the number one choice for New Zealanders and our strategy to connect customers to products, services and experiences that enhance and protect their financial well-being,” says Suncorp New Zealand CEO Paul Smeaton.
“The proposed acquisition would consolidate Suncorp’s position in the New Zealand general insurance market, creating a business with gross written premiums of NZ$1.6 billion.
“The combined business would generate significant shareholder value through cost efficiencies, as well as reinsurance and technology synergies.”
Tower Chairman Michael Stiassny says shareholders should not to sell their shares until the board had reviewed the offer.
Earlier this month Canadian group Fairfax Financial Holdings made a takeover offer at NZ$1.17 a share, valuing the company at about $NZ197 million.