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Irish Life paid $100mln dividend to parent company last year

written by Bella Palmer

The total dividend paid out by Irish Life since its acquisition by Great-West Lifeco equates to over 65 per cent of the $1.53 billion purchase price

Irish Life Group paid an €85 million ($100.34 million) dividend to its overseas parent last year, following gains from an asset sale, bringing total payments since it was bought from the State during the financial crisis to €849 million ($1002.24 million).

The latest payout, made to UK-based Canada Life Limited - its immediate parent, came even as Irish Life did not receive any dividends last year from its life and pensions and health insurance units, as the Central Bank pressed insurers to postpone shareholder payouts due to the uncertainty caused by the pandemic.

According to separate accounts for the main subsidiary, Irish Life Assurance, its net profit remained stable at €97 million ($114.51 million) last year, as new life assurance business sales increased to €650 million ($767.32 million) on an annual premium equivalent basis from €565 million ($666.98 million) for 2019. Corporate life sales increased, while retail life sales dropped.

The total dividend paid out by Irish Life since it was acquired by Great-West Lifeco in Winnipeg eight years ago equates to over 65 per cent of the €1.3 billion ($1.53 billion) purchase price.

The government bought Irish Life in 2011 from Permanent TSB (PTSB), which was then known as Irish Life & Permanent, for €1.3 billion ($1.53 billion) in order to limit the taxpayer bailout bill for PTSB. In 2013, it sold the business for the same price to Great-Life Westco.

This was largely driven by a nearly €70 million ($82.63 million) gain from the sale of a third-party administration solutions business, called IPSI, to UK’s fintech company FNZ last year. The annual accounts reveal that the total consideration for the deal amounted to €95 million ($112.15 million).


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