Australian private insurer MBF Australia Limited has decided to demutalize and list on the Australian Securities Exchange after rejecting a takeover bid from UK-based health insurer BUPA, The Sydney Morning Herald has reported.

In a press release, MBF chairman John Conde revealed that the company’s board members believed that demutualization would be in the best interests of policyholders and that they expect the move to maximize the company’s future growth potential.

MBF policyholders will have the opportunity to vote on the proposal to demutualize. If approved, eligible policyholders will be entitled to receive shares. Following demutualization, it is intended that those shares would be listed on the Australian Securities Exchange.

According to The Age, MBF has been mulling a listing for a while. The publication also reported that the company has been informally approached by BUPA Australia, which offered around $2 billion for the group.

We note with interest MBF’s decision to demutualize and explore a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange, BUPA Australia managing director Richard Bowden said, as cited in The Age. BUPA remains convinced that consolidation in the private health insurance industry is inevitable.