Japan's Dai-ichi Life Insurance plans to buy rest of Tower Australia for $1.2 billion

Dai-ichi Life Insurance Co, Japan's second largest life insurer plans to buy the remaining stake it does not already own in Tower Australia Group Ltd, for about 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion), according to a today report by the Japanese newspaper Nikkei.

Dai-ichi Life had acquired a 29.7-per cent stake in Sydney-based Tower Australia in 2008 from Guinness Peat Group Plc for 37.6 billion yen in order to collaborate with the Australian life insurer.

Dai-ichi Life will make a tender offer in the first half of next year with the aim of expanding its presence in the Oceania region, the newspaper said.

The acquisition would be the biggest for Tokyo-based Dai-ichi Life, which had armed itself with an $11 billion war-chest through an initial public offering in April this year with the aim at expanding overseas to counter falling revenues at it home market due to decline in birthrate and aging population.

Reacting to Nikkei's report, Dai-ichi Life said in a statement, At this point, we have not made a decision on the matter mentioned in the report. If we make a decision, we will announce it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner."

Taking advantage of a stronger yen, Japanese companies have recently been active in cross-border acquisitions having made $31.2 billion of overseas investments this year, up 13 per cent year on year, according to research firm Dealogic.