Minister for Finance Michael Noonan has confirmed that an agreement of the sale of Irish Life to Great-West Lifeco (Canada Life) has been reached, to the sum of $1.7 billion (€1.3 bn). An additional dividend of €40 million is being paid to the State prior to completion.

The agreement is conditional, most notably on receipt of regulatory approvals, which are customary in a deal of this nature.

Welcoming the agreement, Minister Noonan said the “deal is the first time during this crisis that a company in which we have invested has been returned fully to private ownership. This is a historic transaction and provides the Irish taxpayer with a full return on its investment in Irish Life.

“The Irish economy is entering its third consecutive year of growth, our deficit is on a downward trajectory and we are beginning to attract the levels of investment required to create jobs and to make a full return to the markets.

“Great-West Lifeco’s Irish business, Canada Life (Ireland), is already a significant employer and is the largest Canadian employer in the State. Today’s investment by a company of their stature is a significant vote of confidence in the Irish economy and I am sure that this will lead to further investment.”

The Minister added “Irish Life manages approximately one million policies, with over €37 billion of assets under management and employs 2,200 people in Ireland. The financial strength of Great-West Lifeco will be of great benefit to the life assurance sector in Ireland. I would like to take this opportunity to wish Great-West Lifeco and Irish Life every success in the future.”