NZ's Tower sells health insurance business to Australia's NIB

WELLINGTON Thu Nov 1, 2012 5:12pm EDT

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WELLINGTON Nov 2 (Reuters) - New Zealand insurer and fund manager Tower Ltd has sold its health insurance business to Australia's NIB Holdings Ltd for NZ$102 million, paving the way for the private health insurer to enter the New Zealand market.

Tower said in a statement it was selling its health insurance arm, which has approximately 13 percent of market share in the country, as it expected only limited returns from the operation.

NIB Managing Director Mark Fitzgibbon said the company was acquiring the New Zealand business to expand into international markets.

"TOWER Medical meets NIB's strict investment criteria in terms of strategic rationale and return on investment," he said. (Reporting by Naomi Tajitsu)

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