01/06/2018 - 16:11

HBF and HCF scrap merger

01/06/2018 - 16:11

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Western Australia’s largest health insurer HBF and east coast counterpart HCF have ended discussions regarding a planned merger but neither has clearly explained the reasons.

HBF and HCF scrap merger
John Van Der Wielen says the deal was not in the best interests of HBF's members.

Western Australia’s largest health insurer HBF and east coast counterpart HCF have ended discussions regarding a planned merger but neither has clearly explained the reasons.

Their decision was announced at 4pm today.

The merger plan was originally announced in February.

Both groups have been very scant on detail, saying at the time that a merger would provide members of both funds the benefits of scale required to compete with the larger private health insurers.

"The merger is a logical fit, given both funds’ not-for-profit structure and member-first approach," they said in a joint statement in February.

HBF and HCF said today they have been in close discussions on how the merged entity would function, but have now agreed it would not be in the best interests of their members for the merger to proceed.

They said maintaining a not-for-profit structure and delivering affordability for members remained their priority.

HCF Managing Director Sheena Jack said: “At the outset of these discussions both parties agreed a merger would only be pursued in the interests of our members".

"While we share common ground with HBF as member focused, not-for-profit health funds – the timing for the proposed merger is not right.

“Our focus at this time is to continue delivering strong results and we remain dedicated to delivering affordable products and greater benefits for our 1.5 million members through the execution of this strategy.”

HBF Managing Director John Van Der Wielen said: “HBF has been clear from the outset that the merger would only proceed if it provided real benefits to HBF members in Western Australia.

“We agreed on broad principles for the proposed merger with HCF, but as discussions progressed it became apparent that pursuing the transaction would not be in the best interests of our members.

HBF is very well placed to continue to ensure our long standing commitment to members remains in place.”

 

 

 

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