NZ insurer CBL’s bid to boost Australian business

NZ insurer CBL’s bid to boost Australian business | Insurance Business

NZ insurer CBL’s bid to boost Australian business
CBL Insurance has confirmed its proposed NZ$46 million acquisition of Australian specialty insurer Assetinsure Holdings Pty Ltd after being granted approval for the transaction by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA).

The New Zealand-based, privately-owned credit surety and financial risk insurer has plans to increase its business across the Tasman to address the current heavy weighting of the company’s business in Europe.

CBL managing director Peter Harris said: “Assetinsure is an important strategic step to increasing our business in Australia. We can now distribute products in Australia through an APRA regulated entity, and we can also introduce certain Assetinsure products and relationships into our existing international markets.”

Assetinsure is the largest surety bond insurer in Australia, providing a range of speciality products which include credit enhancement, surety bonds, specialised property insurance, aviation, and rural risk from its three offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth.

In 2012 CBL acquired from Vero the Deposit Power business – a market leader in Australia in the provision of property deposit bonds, which are used by property buyers as a deposit in buying a property, rather than using cash.

The Assetinsure transaction is expected to be settled by October with Harris saying the purchase price will be settled through a mix of shares and cash.

“Currently our business is strongly weighted to Europe, accounting for more than 70% of the business written by the company, and we expect the purchase of Assetinsure to go some way to address this,” Harris said.

“We are excited to be able to utilise the knowledge and experience that the Assetinsure team have in their Australian market, and look forward to being able to apply some of our international products and knowledge into the Assetinsure distribution channels.”

Peter Wedgwood, executive director and largest shareholder of Assetinsure, said there was a great deal of synergy between the two companies.

“We are very pleased to become part of the Group. CBL’s global focus will provide us access to other markets.”

The acquisition follows the completion last month of a 34.99% shareholding in the Mexican insurer Afianzadora Fiducia, SA de CV (Fiducia).