Canadian life insurer Great-West Lifeco to buy Irish Life Group for $1.73 bn

Canadian life insurer Great-West Lifeco Inc today said it has reached an agreement with the government of Ireland to acquire the country's biggest insurance company, Irish Life Group Ltd, for C$1.75 billion ($1.73 billion).

Following the deal, 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 with the operations of Irish Life.

Ireland's government bought Irish Life for €1.3 billion in June 2012 from debt-ridden lender Irish Life & Permanent, which was later, renamed Permanent TSB Group Holdings.
Irish Life is Ireland's leading life and pensions group and fund manager employing just 2,000 people but servicing around one million customers.

The Irish Life brand is one of the best known and most recognised financial brands in Ireland.

The group's life assurance business, Irish Life Assurance, operates through two main divisions, Irish Life Retail and Irish Life Corporate Business. Irish Life Retail is focused on individual life assurance and pensions and Irish Life Corporate Business is focused on life assurance and pension products for employers and affinity groups.

The group's fund management business, Irish Life Investment Managers, is the largest manager of life assurance and pension assets in Ireland, with a 33 per cent market share.

Cornmarket, the group's brokerage business, specialises in the provision of financial advice and products to affinity groups in the public sector in Ireland.