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Ballantyne hopeful of OIO nod 'soon'

Partners Life boss Naomi Ballantyne says it’s still too early to get into any detail about what the company plans to do with a looming $200 million capital injection.

Tuesday, August 2nd 2016, 9:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

Naomi Ballantyne

US private equity player Blackstone is investing the money with Partners, which wants to grow market share. The deal will give it almost 49 per cent of the insurance company.

Ballantyne said she was expecting Overseas Investment Office approval within the next couple of months.

Until that time, she would not be able to disclose the extent of the company’s plans, she said.

There was a risk that divulging them could give competitors the chance to get a jump on Partners Life, she said, or to have other unintended consequences.

“Some of the things we plan to do are pretty exciting for advisers. We don’t want them to start banking their applications in advance, for example.”

Ballantyne said she was not expecting to encounter any problems in the OIO process. “We certainly are hopeful that it will be through in the relatively near future. As soon as we have regulatory approval we will be out there because the money will be in.”

The Blackstone deal would give it “liquidation preference shares”, which mean that it will be first in line to recover its $200m plus an amount equal to a 5% per year return, if an “exit event” occurred.

If the company lists, as Ballantyne has indicated is a near-term goal, the shares become a standard equity investment.

Tags: Partners Life

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