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Battle over Irish Life

THE proposed €1.3bn sale of Irish Life and Permanent's life assurance business -- the Irish Life Group -- to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan undervalues the company's 'crown jewels', the High Court has heard.

The claim was made on the first day of a challenge brought by Irish Life shareholders aimed at setting aside approval for the sale granted by the High Court last March.

The Minister, who opposes the action, says the sale is part of the recapitalisation of Irish Life and Permanent (ILP) as required by the Central Bank, the EU Commission, the IMF and the ECB.

He also claims the recapitalisation must be completed by the end of June or ILP, which also opposes the action, could face sanctions. The case continues.