4 Nov 2012

Tower eyes $102m cash boost from sale

9:42 am on 4 November 2012

Insurer and fund manager Tower Group says the company has a viable future after its selling its health insurance arm for $102 million to Australian health insurer, NIB Holdings.

The company had previously warned that it might divest assets or consider alliances as part of a review of its life, general and health insurance operations.

Tower Medical Insurance has a market share of 13% and made a profit of $6.8 million in the first half of the year.

But Tower Group managing director Rob Flanaghan says that the health business is too small to get the returns Tower requires.

NIB will offer health insurance to Tower life and general insurance customers.

Meanwhile, Tower is flagging its full year profit will be above analysts' expectations of between $51 million and $56 million.

And Tower Investments says it will reluctantly sell its 3.7% stake in Fisher and Paykel Appliances big Chinese whiteware maker Haier.

Haier has secured 72.4% of the New Zealand whiteware firm after lifting its offer to $1.28 a share.

Tower Investments' chief executive Sam Stubbs says the fund manager didn't want to be a left as minority investor.