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Takeover battle intensifies

15 Mar 2017

Suncorp has raised its bid to buy Tower as the Australian insurer’s stake in the firm hit 19.99%. The insurer has paid $1.40 per share for 11.3 million shares from Australian fund manager Perpetual, up from its $1.30 offer in February.

Suncorp is battling Fairfax Financial for the New Zealand insurer, with the Canadian giant offering a bid of $197 million.


Michael Stiassny, chairman of Tower, said that the board remains focused on securing the best deal for all of its shareholders.

“While we are pleased to see Suncorp has recognised additional value in Tower for a minority of shareholders, it is unclear whether the $1.40 per share will be available for all Tower shareholders,” Stiassny said in a statement to the ASX.

Earlier this month, Suncorp announced that they would make escalation payments to sellers, offering to pay them the difference between the $1.30 per share it paid and any greater price paid to other Tower shareholders in the next year.

Stiassny said that Tower will be seeking clarification on this point, as well as clarifying the “highly conditional nature of their indicative scheme proposal.”

Whilst Suncorp, who would take on Tower through Vero New Zealand, have been the more aggressive in their bids thus far, Stiassny said that the board remains in contact with Fairfax.

The Tower board advised shareholders not to take any action without careful consideration of all information available and also advised them to seek professional advice.


 - Insurance Business

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