A.M. Best Co. has commented that the ratings of Great-West Lifeco Inc. (Lifeco) (Winnipeg, Manitoba), its North American life (re) subsidiaries and international reinsurance subsidiaries are unchanged following Lifeco’s recent announcement that it had reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Irish Life Group Ltd. (ILG), which includes Irish Life Assurance plc, for EUR 1.3 billion. ILG is currently owned by the Irish government, following its separation last June from Irish Life & Permanent Plc.
The transaction will propel the group to the leading life assurance and pension market position in Ireland, with a market share in excess of 30%. A.M. Best notes that the expected financing structure of the transaction results in Lifeco’s financial leverage position remaining within A.M. Best’s expectations.
While the acquisition of ILG is consistent with Great-West Life Assurance Company’s (GWL) growth strategy of achieving significant and sustainable scale advantages in core business lines, the acquisition is large, and with it comes the challenges of integration. However, A.M. Best notes that GWL has historically demonstrated an expertise in successfully integrating acquisitions and extracting significant expense savings.
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