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Fairfax to buy NZ insurer

New Zealand insurer Tower is set to be acquired by Canada’s Fairfax Financial Holdings for $NZ197 million ($188.72 million).

Tower is the largest New Zealand-owned insurer operating in the market.

The Tower board has unanimously approved the transaction and two major shareholders, which own 18% of Tower shares between them, have committed to vote in favour.

Fairfax Chairman and CEO Prem Watsa says the acquisition will give the Toronto-based company an immediate significant presence in the New Zealand market and some Pacific Island centres.

“Tower is one of the largest insurers in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, with a long-standing history, good brand recognition and a strong market position,” he said.

Tower shareholder support will be sought at a meeting in April, and it’s understood CEO Richard Harding will continue to lead the management team.

The deal is subject to regulatory approvals.

More details in our regular bulletin on Monday.

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