Suncorp sells NZ Guardian Trust for $42 mln to focus on insurance business
By Paul McBeth
Dec. 17 (BusinessDesk) – Suncorp Group, the Australian insurer that owns Asteron and Vero, has sold New Zealand Guardian Trust Co. for $42 million in a bid to streamline its business.
ASX-listed Trust Co. has agreed to buy Guardian Trust, and will fund the purchase through existing cash and debt if necessary. The sale is Suncorp’s second in as many months after it sold fund manager Tyndall Investments to Japan’s Nikko Asset Management for up to A$128.5 million in November.
“The sale of Guardian Trust underlines Suncorp Life’s clear intent to focus on being a life insurance specialist, and we will continue to pursue growth in this area,” Suncorp Life chief executive Geoff Summerhayes said in a statement. “The Trust Company knows the market and is committed to maintain the standards and practices that have made Guardian Trust one of New Zealand’s most long-standing and established trustee companies.”
The deal is expected to be completed at the end of February and is subject to Overseas Investment Office approval.
Once the deal’s complete, Trust Co. expects total annual revenues will increase by more than 50% to A$86 million.
Trust Co. chief executive John Aitken said the acquisition will make a “material financial contribution to the group” and help its expansion plans across the Asia-Pacific region.