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Suncorp bid sparks rash of speculation

Confirmation that Australian firm Suncorp was preparing to make a takeover bid for Promina group has started a rash of speculation over what other life insurance companies could be targets.

Thursday, October 12th 2006, 10:15PM
Promina's share price ended the day up 14%.

"(The Suncorp bid) set a fire under the entire sector as investors speculated on which would be the next takeover.

Tower rallied 9 cents to close at $3.46 and is now up 13% in the past few weeks," Goldman Sachs JB Were said.

Promina, which runs the Asteron, Tyndall, Vero and Guardian Trust brands in New Zealand, has confirmed that it has received a proposal from Suncorp to acquire all the ordinary shares of the company.

The proposal offers 0.2618 Suncorp shares and A$1.80 cash per Promina share. The proposal is conditional and would be intended to be implemented via a Promina Board-recommended scheme of arrangement.

Promina's board has indicated that it is "favourably disposed" to the proposal, and is evaluating the overall transaction.

It has agreed to engage with Suncorp in order to reach a conclusion on whether the proposal would be in the best interests of Promina shareholders.

Promina says it is not planning to make any further public announcement until the discussions and evaluations are completed.

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China Construction Bank Special - - - -
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Co-operative Bank - Standard 8.40 7.49 7.29 7.15
Credit Union Auckland 7.70 - - -
First Credit Union Special - 7.45 7.35 -
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Heartland Bank - Reverse Mortgage - - - -
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