A.M. Best Comments on Great-West Lifeco Inc.’s Planned Acquisition of the Irish Life Group, Ltd.

  A.M. Best Comments on Great-West Lifeco Inc.’s Planned Acquisition of the
  Irish Life Group, Ltd.

Business Wire

OLDWICK, N.J. -- February 19, 2013

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

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.

The methodology used in determining these ratings is Best’s Credit Rating
Methodology, which provides a comprehensive explanation of A.M. Best’s rating
process and contains the different rating criteria employed in the rating
process. Best’s Credit Rating Methodology can be found at

Founded in 1899, A.M. Best Company is the world’s oldest and most
authoritative insurance rating and information source. For more information,
visit www.ambest.com.

       Copyright © 2013 by A.M. Best Company, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


A.M. Best Company, Inc.
Robert Adams, 908-439-2200, ext. 5225
Senior Financial Analyst
Rachelle Morrow, 908-439-2200, ext. 5378
Senior Manager, Public Relations
Thomas Rosendale, 908-439-2200, ext. 5201
Assistant Vice President
Jim Peavy, 908-439-2200, ext. 5644
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
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