Revelations of extensive iSelect links to new insurer
New details have emerged about the close links between troubled health insurance comparison site, iSelect, and Australia's newest health insurer, health.com.au.
iSelect non-executive director Leslie Webb has owned up to 46 per cent of health.com.au's parent company, Australian Securities and Investments Commission documents show, and now owns almost 7 per cent.
Other investors in health. com.au's parent company, NIA, include ballet star turned stockbroker Li Cunxin, recently departed Brisbane Lions AFL chairman Angus Johnson, and Spotlight founder Morry Fraid.
Prominent criminal lawyer Robert Richter, QC, magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg, former iSelect employee Giles Hunt and a group of stockbrokers from Evans & Partners are also investors.
NIA spokesman Frank Peppard, who also owns shares in the company, said the shareholdings were "broadly accurate".
He confirmed NIA was "preparing a number of options to finance health.com.au's future growth, including a potential IPO [initial public offering] and/or other sources of funding."
NIA has a $75 million debt facility with iSelect, allowing the insurer to defer paying fees for sales through iSelect until at least July next year.
iSelect, which listed on the sharemarket in the middle of this year, has been criticised for failing to disclose the family links between health.com.au founder Andy Sheats and Matt McCann, its recently departed chief, as well as not disclosing Mr Webb had a shareholding in NIA.
The extent of Mr Webb's stake - 46 per cent in May 2011, falling to 22 per cent in November that year - was uncovered in extensive ASIC searches. Mr Webb was the only iSelect director allowed to sell shares held in escrow into the company's listing.
The company was unable to respond on Tuesday to questions about why Mr Webb's stake was not revealed and what was done about his potential conflict of interest.
Health.com.au launched last year with an aggressive offer and aspirations of being a top 10 insurer. NIA has raised $53 million since June 2011, and will need to raise more money to pay down its debt facility with iSelect.
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