Barbados-based wealth manager Sagicor Financial Co. Ltd. has stepped into the Canadian marketplace for the first time with the $325-million purchase of Toronto-based life insurer Ivari.
Sagicor, a Toronto Stock Exchange-listed company with about US$20-billion in assets, will buy Ivari from U.S.-based Wilton Re Ltd.
Ivari is one of Canada’s largest providers of individual life and critical-illness insurance products for the underserved middle market. It manages almost $14-billion in assets for more than 700,000 policyholders, and reported net income of $74-million in 2021. Wilton Re bought the company, formerly known as Aegon Canada ULC, from Aegon NV for $600-million in 2015.
Wilton Re chief executive Dmitri Ponomarev said over the past seven years, Ivari has been a “great investment,” but the sale will allow Wilton Re, which is majority-owned by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, to “focus more on its administrative reinsurance strategy and clients.”
Sagicor’s entrance into Canada aligns with the Caribbean insurer’s strategy to diversify into adjacent geographic markets – as well as expand its footprint in the individual life insurance market. Currently, Sagicor operates in markets within both the Caribbean and the United States.
The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, will be paid in cash and is expected to close in early 2023. The $325-million purchase price can be adjusted based on Canadian regulatory capital requirements. Sagicor said it can inject more cash into Ivari after the purchase closes, if needed.
Sagicor has been operating for more than 180 years in a number of insurance products including life, health, pensions, annuities and real estate. The global insurer reported approximately $2.6-billion of annual total gross premium revenue at the end of 2021.
Sagicor chief executive Dodridge Miller said Ivari is a “scaled business primed for growth” and, upon closing, the acquisition will double the size of Sagicor’s balance sheet.
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