Great-West Lifeco purchases Irish Life

Great-West Lifeco Inc., the international holding company that includes the Great-West Life Assurance Company, has reached an agreement with the Government of Ireland to acquire Irish Life Group Ltd.

The deal transfers 100% of Ireland’s largest life insurance, pension and investment management business to Great-West Lifeco, for C$1.75 billion (€1.3 billion). The Irish Life name will be retained, and the life and pensions operations of Great-West Lifeco’s Irish subsidiary Canada Life (Ireland) will be combined into Irish Life.

“The acquisition of Irish Life is transformational for our companies in Ireland,” said Allen Loney, president and CEO of Great-West Lifeco. “It allows us to achieve—with a single transaction—the leading position in life insurance, pensions and investment management, and is consistent with Great-West Lifeco’s global business strategy of developing significant market positions in the sectors where the company participates.”

Kevin Murphy, chief executive of Irish Life, said the transaction represents a strong vote of confidence in the country. “It is very good for the Irish economy, our clients, brokers and employees. Canada Life is a well-respected and long-standing business in Ireland. Combining our businesses will help ensure that Irish Life remains the leading brand in the Irish financial services market. It will provide us with a new platform for growth and innovation in the future.”

The transaction is expected to close in July 2013 and is subject to customary regulatory approvals, including approvals from the European Commission under the EU Merger Regulation, and certain closing conditions. Once the transaction has closed, the businesses will be fully integrated over an 18-month period.