The board of Fidelity Life Assurance is urging shareholders to hold off making a decision on Tower's $118 million takeover offer for the company until a professional has appraised it.
Fidelity chairman Ian Braddock says the board is evaluating the unsolicited offer and directors are recommending shareholders take no action until a formal offer is made.
Tower, which is 35% owned by Guinness Peat Group, plans to offer the cash and share equivalent of $82 a share for Fidelity.
Tower managing director Rob Flannagan says both companies are solid New Zealand firms competing with the "big boys" from overseas.
Joining forces would give a competitive advantage, he says, and a merged company would be the third largest in the market.