Ireland reopens sale talks on state-owned Irish Life -report

DUBLIN Sun Dec 2, 2012 7:03am EST

DUBLIN Dec 2 (Reuters) - Ireland has re-opened talks on the sale of state-owned insurance firm Irish Life to Canada Life, a unit of Canadian life insurer Great-West Lifeco, the Sunday Business Post reported.

Irish Life, formerly the life insurance arm of bailed out Irish Life & Permanent (IL&P), was taken over by the state this year after a ramping up of the euro zone debt crisis forced the suspension of its sale a year ago.

Canada Life had previously been the lead candidate to buy the business, a source told Reuters last year, and the Sunday Business Post said the company was engaged again in discussion with Ireland's finance department, although no fresh proposal had been made.

A spokesman for the department of finance said the department had not received a formal proposal for the sale of Irish Life. A spokesman for Irish Life said the company would not comment on the report.

Executives at Irish Life said in September that the company would need a period of sustained calm in the euro zone before the sale process would resume.

Ireland's government, which had already poured 2.7 billion euros into IL&P to recapitalise its banking division, forked out 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for Irish Life.

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