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Pension fund backs Aussie insurance distributor

A major Canadian pension fund has taken a 33.4% stake in the Greenstone, the Sydney-based distributor of several retail insurance brands.

Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board has reached an agreement to acquire the stake from fellow Canadian pension giant CDPQ and insurer Hollard, which is its major backer. The two will sell down pro-rata and continue to own the remainder of the business.

Greenstone develops and distributes several retail insurance brands, including Real Insurance, Australian Seniors, OneChoice and Guardian Insurance. It also distributes through affinity brands like Woolworths, Medibank and ahm.

OTPP's investment will see co-founder Gavin Donnelly depart.

"Ontario Teachers' looks forward to working collaboratively with HIBV and CDPQ to reinforce Greenstone's mission to bring innovative insurance products to Australian and New Zealand consumers," OTPP said.

Greenstone chief executive Brenard Grobler said: "This significant commitment from Ontario Teachers' further validates the quality of our proposition and our commitment to the long-term growth of the business."

Also commenting, OTPP senior managing director Asia Pacific Ben Chan said the investment is consistent with the pension fund's strategy of investing in leading financial services businesses.

"We look forward to working closely with management and our partners and contributing to the company's continued success," he said.

The sale has apparently been in the works for several months now,

The transaction is subject to the Foreign Investment Review Board's approval.

Read more: GreenstoneOTPPAustralian SeniorsOntario Teachers Pension Plan BoardBen ChanBrenard GroblerForeign Investment Review BoardGavin DonnellyGuardian InsuranceHollardMedibankOneChoiceReal InsuranceWoolworths