Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Tower's Stiassny takes swipe at IAG’s Lumley acquisition

Tower chairman Stiassny takes swipe at IAG’s Lumley acquisition

By Paul McBeth

Feb. 5 (BusinessDesk) - Tower chairman Michael Stiassny took a swipe at Australian rival Insurance Australia Group’s bid to buy Wesfarmers’ trans-Tasman underwriting businesses, saying the market dominance creates “significant risk.”

IAG has sought clearance from Australasian antitrust regulators to buy the WFI and Lumley Insurance brands as well as a 10-year distribution agreement with Coles for A$1.85 billion, something Tower’s Stiassny says is of concern to the wider industry.

“We are pleased the Commerce Commission is taking a close look at the proposed IAG acquisition of Lumley, given the implications for New Zealand, the insurance industry and consumers,” he said in speech notes to today’s annual meeting published on the NZX. “We believe there is significant risk from one business controlling two-thirds of the personal lines market, if New Zealand was to suffer another event on the scale of Canterbury.”

IAG, which operates the State, NZI and Lantern brands, grabbed more of the New Zealand market in 2012 when it bought assets of AMI for $380 million after its local rival was forced to seek a financial lifeline from the government when the Canterbury earthquakes drained its reserves.

On the proposed Lumley acquisition, the Commerce Commission has said it will look at whether the tie-up will damp competition in personal and commercial insurance products in home and contents, car, boats, commercial property, liability and marine cargo. A decision is due on March 28.

Tower chief executive David Hancock today told shareholders in Auckland industry consolidation continues to be a long-term theme, and that the insurer “is prepared to participate in this trend where we can add value for shareholders.”

The insurer has scaled back its operations to largely general insurance having sold the bulk of its life business to Fidelity Assurance and its investment arm to Fisher Funds. Tower looked at the AMI business on the block in 2011, and made a hostile takeover bid for Fidelity in 2010.

Shareholders approved today’s resolutions, which included amending the company’s constitution to trim the size of its board.

The shares were unchanged at $1.75 today.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

PGPs: New Programme Sets Sights On Strong Wool

A new collaboration between The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), announced today, aims to deliver premiums for New Zealand's strong wool sector... More>>

ALSO:

Restrictions Lifted: No Further Tau Flies Found

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) confirms that all restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables in Manurewa, Auckland, due to the Tau fly, have been lifted as of 2.26pm on Sunday 7 February. More>>

Crowdfinding: Awaroa Beach To Become Public Land If Appeal Succeeds

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says a privately-owned beach will become part of the Abel Tasman National Park if an online crowdfunding campaign to buy it succeeds... More>>

ALSO:

Meat Workers Union: Waitangi Mondayisation Flaunted By Large Employer Of Maori

At the AFFCO Talley owned meat plant in Rangiuru, the company has resorted to bullying and threats... saying they could be disciplined and their union sued for an unlawful strike if workers exercise their rights to a paid day off tomorrow. More>>

Earlier:

ETS Review: Modelling Documents Released

Three technical documents are being released to help New Zealanders engage with the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) review, Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>

ALSO:

Northland: Govt Plan Targets Transport, Web, Maori Assets

The government has released a 10-year plan to attract investors and lift economic growth in Northland, a region that perennially underperforms the rest of the country even while being endowed with natural beauty, productive land, minerals, a potential workforce, scope for manufacturing, forestry and aquaculture, and proximity to Auckland. More>>

ALSO:

Statistics: Unemployment Rate Falls To 5.3 Percent

The unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent in the December 2015 quarter (from 6.0 percent), Statistics New Zealand said today. This is the lowest unemployment rate since March 2009. There were 16,000 fewer people unemployed than in the September ... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news