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Great-West Lifeco eyeing Irish insurance unit

Canada's second-largest insurer, Great-West Lifeco Inc. (GWO-T), is looking to pick up Irish Life & Permanent Plc.'s life assurance unit, according to reports on Friday.

Bloomberg reported that Great-West bid more than 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion US) for the insurance unit, the largest of its kind in Ireland. The Irish government is looking to split Irish Life and sell off its units to help fund a bailout for the group's banking unit, which collapsed in the financial crisis.

A spokesperson from Great-West tells BNN "we don't comment on market rumour or speculation."

Irish Life is almost 100-percent state owned, after Irish tax payers piled 2.7 billion euros into the company over the summer.

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