Unum drops out of race for Irish Life business

US INSURER Unum has left the race to buy Ireland’s largest life insurer Irish Life, the Irish Independent reported yesterday, without citing any sources.

Bancassurer Irish Life & Permanent has put its life business, the jewel in its crown, up for sale after stress tests as part of an EU-IMF bailout revealed it had a capital hole of €4bn (£3bn).

The life business has an embedded value of around €1.6bn.

The news of Unum’s withdrawal emerged earlier when Irish Life & Permanent’s advisers Deutsche Bank received second-round bids, the newspaper reported.

The company’s board and Ireland’s Department of Finance, who will consider the bids, both declined to comment. Unum did not immediately respond to an request for comment.

Finance buyout firm JC Flowers in partnership with private equity firm Apollo Global Management, and Canada Life Ireland were interested in Irish Life.