Blackstone injects $200m in New Zealand’s Partners Life

Blackstone PAG
Blackstone. Photo: Bloomberg

New York-listed private equity firm Blackstone Group has invested $200 million in New Zealand’s life insurer Partners Life.

According to the company communication, Blackstone will hold less than 50 per cent with “a significant minority shareholding” but the actual figure was not disclosed.

Partners Life’s founder and managing director Naomi Ballantyne said that the investment would meet the firm’s needs for medium-term capital and it would not need to tap equity markets for more money.

“We intend to go for a public listing when market conditions are right, and the support of Blackstone up to and throughout a future listing process will allow the company to solidify its market leading position in New Zealand,” she said.

Blackstone’s investment through its Tactical Opportunities unit is all new capital, meaning local existing shareholders – Maui Capital and Rangatira Investments – will remain co-invested alongside the private equity firm and is contingent on shareholder and regulatory approvals.

“Given Blackstone’s experience in the insurance sector, we look forward to supporting the company in achieving its strategic objectives and maximising value for all shareholders,” Kishore Moorjani, senior managing director of Blackstone, said in the statement.

Established in August 2010 by Ballantyne, Partners Life is one of the most substantial competitors in the New Zealand life insurance industry. In the year to March 2015, Partners Life reported $112.7 million in net revenue and $18.5 million in profit.

It claims that its customer base has reached 130,000 customers today.

First NZ Capital, Chapman Tripp and Deloitte New Zealand are advisors for this deal.

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