THE government has sold Irish Life to a Canadian firm in a deal worth €1.3bn.
Great West Lifeco, the parent of Canada Life, will pay the state C$1.75bn (€1.3bn) 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 as the Euro crisis worsened. The state then stepped in last June, paying Permanent TSB €1.3bn to take over the company.
The government made clear that it was taking charge on a temporary basis but when Irish Life released their annual results last September, the company seemed as far away from a sale as ever. Talks, however, were revived late last year.
“This transaction affirms our long-term commitment to Ireland, where Canada Life has operated since 1903. Customers of both companies will have continuity of their products and customer service,” said Allen Loney, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great-West Lifeco.
Established in 1939, Irish Life is the largest life and pensions group and investment manager in Ireland, with more than one million customers and €37bn of assets under management.