Dai-ichi Life to control Tower Australia Group

Kyodo News

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co. aims to turn midsize life insurer Tower Australia Group Ltd. into a wholly owned unit around next spring in view of resource-rich Australia’s high economic growth, sources said Tuesday.

The deal, estimated at ¥100 billion, would be one of the largest acquisitions of a foreign life insurer by a Japanese peer.

When it demutualized and went public last April, Dai-ichi announced plans to expand overseas.

Following its first takeover of a foreign life insurer since its initial public offering, the company is expected to push into China and other emerging economies.

It plans to send officials to Tower Australia and is considering developing insurance policies tailored to local needs, according to the sources.

Dai-ichi is already the leading shareholder in the Australian firm since buying a 29.7 percent equity stake for about ¥37.6 billion in 2008.