Suncorp Group Announces Sale Of New Zealand Life Insurance Business

Suncorp Group has agreed to sell its New Zealand life insurance business, Asteron Life Limited, to Resolution Life NOHC, Resolution Life Group’s holding company in Australia and New Zealand. Suncorp’s New Zealand general insurance business remains unchanged and part of the Suncorp Group.

The sale of Asteron Life for NZ$410 million includes an upfront payment of NZ$250 million at completion, with the remaining NZ$160 million due 18 months after completion. Suncorp will earn interest on the NZ$160 million while it remains outstanding.

The transaction is subject to New Zealand regulatory approvals and notifications including the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, the Overseas Investment Office and Commerce Commission. It is expected to complete within nine months.

There will be no change to Asteron Life’s business operations, which are expected to continue under the Asteron Life brand.

“In addition to supporting existing customers, Resolution Life will continue to grow new business in New Zealand through the Asteron Life brand, providing customers with greater access to contemporary products,” said Steve Johnston, CEO of Suncorp Group.

“The transaction continues the reshaping of the Suncorp Group, and positions both the general and life insurance businesses for ongoing growth and success, benefiting employees, customers, and other stakeholders. We believe it is a win-win for our stakeholders.

“We have simplified our portfolio in recent years under a strategy designed to align everyone at Suncorp around improving the way we deliver value for our Australian and New Zealand customers. We remain committed to the New Zealand general insurance market as part of our refocused group.”

Jimmy Higgins, CEO of Suncorp New Zealand, said he believed the transaction was in the best interests of Asteron Life’s policyholders and allows the local team to focus exclusively on general insurance.