Canadian insurer Great-West Life buys Irish Life

Canadian insurance company Great-West Life has agreed to buy state-owned Irish Life for Can$1.75 billion ($1.75 billion, 1.31 billion euros), it said Tuesday.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Great-West said it will combine the operations of its 110-year-old Irish subsidiary, Canada Life, and Irish Life. The new entity will retain the Irish Life name.

Established in 1939, Irish Life is the largest life and pensions group and investment manager in Ireland, with more than one million customers and 37 billion euros of assets under management.

"The acquisition of Irish Life is transformational for our companies in Ireland," Great-West chief executive Allen Loney said in a statement.

"It allows us to achieve -- with a single transaction -- the leading position in life insurance, pensions and investment management" in the country.

The deal is expected to close in July, subject to regulatory approvals.