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June 8, 2009updated 13 Apr 2017 8:56am

MetLife sells Canadian operations to Unity Life

Continuing on its acquisition trail, Canadian life insurer Unity Life of Canada has clinched a deal with US insurer MetLife that will see it acquire substantially all of the insurance business of MetLife Canada for an undisclosed sum. Under the agreement, Unity Life will acquire MetLife Canadas block of some 100,000 life and health insurance policies and a small number of group annuity contracts, including policy liabilities of about C$300 million ($277 million) and related assets. This transaction is Unity Lifes largest acquisition to date, and reaffirms our growth strategy of acquiring complementary blocks of business that align with Unity Lifes market and area of expertise, supporting the growth of our Canadian business and reducing our unit costs, said the insurers president and CEO, Tony Poole.

By LII editorial

Continuing on its acquisition trail, Canadian life insurer Unity Life of Canada has clinched a deal with US insurer MetLife that will see it acquire substantially all of the insurance business of MetLife Canada for an undisclosed sum.

Under the agreement, Unity Life will acquire MetLife Canada’s block of some 100,000 life and health insurance policies and a small number of group annuity contracts, including policy liabilities of about C$300 million ($277 million) and related assets.

“This transaction is Unity Life’s largest acquisition to date, and reaffirms our growth strategy of acquiring complementary blocks of business that align with Unity Life’s market and area of expertise, supporting the growth of our Canadian business and reducing our unit costs,” said the insurer’s president and CEO, Tony Poole.

The MetLife Canada deal follows Unity Life’s acquisition of US insurer Conseco’s Washington National Insurance unit’s block of Canadian occupational disability insurance in December 2008 and acquisition of US insurer Forethought Financial Group’s block of 20,000 Canadian funeral funding insurance policies including policy liabilities of C$90 .6 million in October 2008.

In 2008 Unity Life reported premium revenue of C$86.59 million, up 0.5 percent compared with 2007 while life insurance in-force increased by 11 percent to C$15.36 million. As at 31 December 2008, Unity Life had total assets of C$637 million, an improvement of 13.4 percent compared with 2007, and had 227,000 active policies.

Unity Life, which can trace its origins back to 1898, was until April 2008 a mutual insurer. Its conversion into a stock life insurer came by way of Canada’s first sponsored demutualisation which saw Canadian life insurer Foresters buy-out Unity Life’s members for an undisclosed cash amount.

Foresters is the trademark of The Independent Order of Foresters, a not-for-profit fraternal benefit society which provides its 735,000 members in Canada, the US and UK with life and health insurance, annuities and educational savings products.

Rating agency AM Best has assigned both Foresters and Unity Life ratings of “A-” (Excellent).

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