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ANZ considers sale or float to divest life biz

Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. will return to the market to look for buyers of its life insurance division after failing to sell its wealth management arm One­Path as a complete unit, The Australian reported Oct. 18.

The bank is looking to sell or even float the life insurance business, said Alexis George, the bank's head of wealth.

The lender had tried to sell the complete OnePath unit but it could not find a buyer committed to both superannuation and life insurance.

ANZ agreed to sell its pensions and investments and aligned dealer groups businesses to IOOF Holdings Ltd. for a cash consideration of A$975 million, leaving it with its life insurance business, its general insurance arm, financial planning division and the bank's mortgage insurance business.

There is no specific timetable for the sale or float of the life insurance business, George said, adding that the bank will first have to focus on separating its super operations from the life insurance business.