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A little inconvenience for Tower

Wednesday, February 16th 2011, 10:48AM

by Philip Macalister

GPG’s announcement last week that it intends selling all its assets – bar the biggest is a bombshell for Tower. Tower has been happily sitting there getting on with business while it seemed like there was change swirling all around its competitors. Now it is essentially in play and will potentially have a new owner. GPG has been clever over the years and managed to get its holding in Tower above the 30% mark meaning that if a suitor was to buy all the company’s shares it would, under takeover laws, have to make an offer to all Tower shareholders. There are other options of course including one where GPG could try and place its shares with institutions. Or maybe the company could be sold off in three pieces; life insurance, general insurance and funds management. As we reported earlier in the week (and other media picked up on yesterday) Fidelity Life is keen on the life insurance business. I’m told one could buy the investment side for around $35 million too. One wonders if the Fidelity interest in Tower is a way of getting back at the company after it attempted a hostile takeover of Fidelity last year – or if it’s serious. I suspect it is serious but don’t know what it’s capacity to fund such an acquisition is. GPG’s announcement comes at an inconvenient time for Tower too. The company is moving from its silo based model of having the three divisions, to a functional model where it’s all one happy family across the two insurance operations and investments. All the work that has gone into the restructure could end  up being wasted. As I say, GPG’s announcement is rather inconvenient for Tower.
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Credit Union Baywide 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
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Credit Union South 5.65 4.75 4.75 -
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Heartland Bank - Online - - - -
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HSBC Premier 5.24 3.54 3.54 3.69
HSBC Premier LVR > 80% - - - -
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HSBC Special - - - -
ICBC 5.15 3.18 3.18 3.20
Kainga Ora 5.18 3.97 4.05 4.39
Kiwibank ▼5.15 4.20 4.30 4.64
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Kiwibank - Offset 5.15 - - -
Kiwibank Special - 3.45 3.55 3.89
Liberty 5.69 - - -
Napier Building Society - - - -
Nelson Building Society 5.70 4.25 4.15 -
Pepper Money Near Prime 5.64 - 5.44 5.44
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Pepper Money Prime 5.18 - 4.98 4.98
Pepper Money Specialist 7.59 - 7.39 7.39
Resimac 4.50 ▼4.45 3.89 3.94
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SBS Bank 5.29 4.85 5.05 5.49
SBS Bank Special - 3.39 ▲3.55 3.89
Sovereign 5.30 3.89 4.05 4.39
Sovereign Special - 3.39 3.55 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 5.15 3.49 3.59 3.89
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 5.15 3.99 4.09 4.39
TSB Bank 6.09 4.19 4.35 4.69
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TSB Special 5.29 3.39 3.55 3.89
Wairarapa Building Society ▼5.50 ▼3.95 ▼4.05 -
Westpac 5.34 4.15 4.09 4.49
Westpac - Offset 5.34 - - -
Westpac Special - 3.39 3.55 3.99
Median 5.34 3.97 4.05 4.39

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