December 2, 2012 / 12:12 PM / 6 years ago

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

DUBLIN (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 (GWO.TO), 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 recapitalize its banking division, forked out 1.3 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for Irish Life. ($1 = 0.7689 euros)

Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Helen Massy-Beresford

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