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AMP offers share bonanza

The AMP Society is recommending its members approve a demutualisation proposal which would give its New Zealand policy holders $1.2 billion worth of shares.

Wednesday, October 8th 1997, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

The AMP Society is recommending its members approve a demutualisation proposal which would give its New Zealand policy holders $1.2 billion worth of shares.
Late last year the board made a decision recommending demutualisation, now it has released details of the offer.
AMP is the third mutual to metamorphose into a privately owned company, but its reasons are different from those of earlier debutantes National Mutual and Colonial.
Managing director George Turmbull says there is no pressing need for the society to undertake the conversion as its capital adequacy requirements were exceeded by more than $2 billion.

However, demutualisation will build on AMP's existing financial strength, he says.
"If it does not change in the way proposed the AMP's capacity to grow and prosper will be limited and, over time, the group's strength may decline."
AMP is keen on expansion and will most likely look to the United Kingdom, and possibly Europe, once it has a single currency, for targets.
If members approve the proposal the mutual society will become a shareholder owned company, the group will be restructured on January 1, and listed later in 1998.
For the proposal to proceed it must be approved at a general meeting of members on November 20 by 75 per cent of the votes cast.
AMP has 290,000 members in New Zealand and they will receive a total of more than 118 million shares.
According to AMP these are likely to be valued at between $10.14 and $11.93 each based on a market price calculated if the shares were traded on the stock exchange on September 10.
Eligibility is restricted to members current at September 10, who were also members on December 11, 1996 when the board first recommended demutualisation.
AMP has started mailing out the explanatory memorandum document to its 1.8 million members world-wide.
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