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Sovereign confirms listing

Sovereign Assurance has confirmed it will produce a prospectus next month and list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange in December.

Wednesday, October 15th 1997, 12:00AM

by Philip Macalister

Sovereign Assurance’s on-again, off-again listing process is back on.

The Takapuna-based financial services group has confirmed it intends to issue a prospectus next month and to list on the New Zealand Stock Exchange by December.

Joint managing director Ian Hendry says the purpose of listing was to raise further capital, but would not confirm how much the group was expecting to raise.

Industry speculation puts the figure around the $60 million mark.

Sovereign is a company, not a co-operative like other insurance groups which have listed recently or are planning to list.

Founders and joint managing directors Hendry and Chris Coon own 35 per cent of the company, United States fund manager Grantham Mayo van Otterloo has an 18 per cent stake, Hambro-Grantham, the Australian branch of British bank Hambros owns 7 per cent and the balance is held by staff, financial intermediaries and others.

Hendry says there will be no public pool in the float, but a pool would be set aside for existing clients.

Sovereign’s planned listing date would make it the third insurer to list, behind National Mutual and Colonial and ahead of AMP.

Meanwhile, Tower Corporation is shaping up to be number five. Managing director James Boonzaier is staying mum on what the group’s demutualisation plans are, however he says Tower would be in a position to comment at the group’s annual meeting in February.

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