'Frontrunner' no longer in the running to buy CBA unit – report

'Frontrunner' no longer in the running to buy CBA unit – report | Insurance Business

Suncorp Group, which was previously considered a major contender for the ownership of the general insurance business being sold by Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), is said to have exited the race.

Without providing further details, the Street Talk section of the Australian Financial Review cited Suncorp as having “dropped out” of the bid process. Fellow giant Insurance Australia Group (IAG) supposedly remains as among the frontrunners.

When contacted by Insurance Business, a spokesperson responded to state that Suncorp does not comment on market speculation when it comes to mergers and acquisitions (M&A). Last year, IAG also did not confirm its participation in the CBA swoop but said it “does look at M&A activities” in the sector.     

Earlier this month, it was reported that German insurance group Allianz was bidding as well. Other supposed suitors are QBE Insurance Group and Tokio Marine.

Meanwhile, a recent DataRoom column of The Australian noted that the up-for-grabs general insurance business is now expected to fetch a higher price tag, from the previous $1 billion estimate to $1.2 billion.

CBA, like its lending peer Westpac Banking Corporation, is focussing on banking. Its life insurance business was sold to AIA Group, while Westpac’s general insurance arm was snapped up by Allianz.