Australian insurance company Suncorp Group has agreed to offload its New Zealand life insurance business, Asteron Life, to Resolution Life for NZ$410m ($246.4m). 

The deal awaits regulatory clearances from various New Zealand authorities, with completion anticipated within the next nine months. 

Resolution Life will pay NZ$250m upfront to Suncorp at closing, with the balance to be paid 18 months later, accruing interest in the interim.  

Despite the change in ownership, Asteron Life’s operations are set to continue without alteration.  

Post-acquisition, the life insurer will retain its existing brand as well as its current management team.  

Suncorp’s New Zealand general insurance operations will not be affected by the sale and will continue as part of the Suncorp Group.  

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The company emphasises that the divestiture of Asteron Life aligns with the interests of its policyholders and enables the New Zealand team to dedicate its efforts solely to general insurance. 

Since February 2023, Suncorp Group has been exploring different options and engaging with several potential buyers for selling its Asteron Life business, which it considers non-core.  

Asteron Life has a team of around 165 people serving more than 180,000 clients and their advisers. 

Resolution Life said the deal would make it the second-largest life insurer in New Zealand. 

Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said: “In addition to supporting existing customers, Resolution Life will continue to grow new business in New Zealand through the Asteron Life brand, providing customers with greater access to contemporary products.  

“The transaction continues the reshaping of the Suncorp Group, and positions both the general and life insurance businesses for ongoing growth and success – benefitting employees, customers and other stakeholders.” 

Resolution Life Australasia CEO Tim Tez said: “This acquisition further demonstrates our commitment to the Australasian market and our success in growing our business in the region. 

“It follows Resolution Life’s entry into the Australian and New Zealand markets in 2020, and our recent acquisition of AIA Australia’s Superannuation and Investments business.”