MinterEllison helps form one of Australia’s largest life insurers

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MinterEllison played a key role in the formation of one of Australia’s largest life insurers.

TAL Dai-ichi Life Australia tapped the international firm on its $640m acquisition of Suncorp Life Australia from the Suncorp Group. Part of the deal is a 20-year strategic alliance for Suncorp to sell life insurance products through its distribution network.

The acquisition makes TAL one of the largest life insurers in the country, with a portfolio of well-known brands that includes Suncorp, AAMI, APIA and GIO.

MinterEllison said that the deal continues the trend in the Australian financial-services sector of Australian banks partially or completely divesting their life insurance businesses.

In recent years, National Australia Bank sold MLC Life to Nippon Life for $2.4bn, Commonwealth Bank sold its CommInsure Life and Sovereign businesses in Australia and New Zealand to the AIA Group for $3.8bn, and the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group sold its OnePath pensions and investments business in Australia, along with dealer groups, to wealth manager IOOF for $975m.

MinterEllison was involved in all those deals. It acted for the bidders on both the CommInsure and OnePath deals, as well as helped in restructuring matters in the MLC Life and OnePath deals.

For the Suncorp Life acquisition, the firm’s team was headed by partners Mark Standen, Maged Girgis, and Siobhan Doherty, as well as senior associate Camilla Sinclair. The team also included special counsel Andrew Bradley, partner Nicholas Pascoe, senior associate Bruno Solia, and lawyer Jennifer Dornan.