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Irish Government finally completes insurer sale

By Peter Flanagan

Published 20/02/2013

The Irish Government has sold insurer Irish Life to a Canadian firm in a deal worth around £1bn.

Great West Lifeco, the parent of Canada Life, will pay the state C$1.75bn (£1.12bn) for the insurer, bringing to a close a saga that had dragged on for more than a year.

In a statement, Great West Lifeco said the Irish Life name will be retained, and the life and pensions operations of its Irish subsidiary Canada Life (Ireland) will be combined with the operations of Irish Life. Great West Lifeco had been in talks to buy the insurer a year ago, but pulled out. The Irish State then stepped in last June, paying Permanent TSB C$1.75bn (£1.12bn) to take over the company.

The Irish Government made clear it was taking charge temporarily but when Irish Life released their results last September, the company seemed as far away from a sale as ever. Talks, however, were revived late last year.

Irish Life is Ireland's largest pensions and investment manager, with €37bn (£32bn) of assets under management.

Belfast Telegraph

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