TSX:GWO Great-West Lifeco Inc. (“Lifeco”) has been notified of an unsolicited mini-tender offer by Obatan LLC, made to residents of the United Kingdom, to purchase up to 50,000 common shares of Lifeco and up to 50,000 Non-Cumulative First Preferred Shares, Series F of Lifeco. The unsolicited offer represents a discount of approximately 40.0% to the closing price of the common shares, and a discount of approximately 41.1% to the closing price of the Series F shares, on the TSX on May 17, 2021, the last trading day before the offer was commenced. The common shares and the Series F shares do not trade on a recognized stock exchange in the UK.
Lifeco does not endorse Obatan’s unsolicited offer, has no association with Obatan or its offer, and does not recommend acceptance of the offer. Obatan’s offer has been made at prices below the current market prices for the shares.
Mini-tender offers such as Obatan’s seek less than 5% of a class of outstanding shares and so avoid many of the investor protections like disclosure and procedural protections applicable to most bids under Canadian law. Securities regulators have expressed serious concerns about mini-tender offers, including the possibility that investors might tender to such offers without understanding the offer price relative to the actual market price of their securities. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has noted that some bidders make these offers at below-market prices “hoping that they will catch investors off guard if the investors do not compare the offer price to the current market price”.
Lifeco urges shareholders to obtain current market quotes for their shares and to consult with their broker or financial advisor in considering Obatan’s offer. According to Obatan’s offer documents, shareholder tenders are irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn once lodged. Further, tendering shareholders do not have the option to tender only a portion of their shares. Obatan has reserved the right to purchase an additional amount of shares over and above 50,000 common shares and 50,000 Series F shares, such additional amount not to exceed 2% of the relevant class of shares.
Lifeco requests that a copy of this news release be included in any distribution of materials relating to Obatan’s mini-tender offer for Lifeco common shares and Series F preferred shares.
About Great-West Lifeco Inc.
Great-West Lifeco is an international financial services holding company with interests in life insurance, health insurance, retirement and investment services, asset management and reinsurance businesses. We operate in Canada, the United States and Europe under the brands Canada Life, Empower Retirement, Putnam Investments, and Irish Life. At the end of 2020, our companies had approximately 24,500 employees, 205,000 advisor relationships, and thousands of distribution partners – all serving our more than 30 million customer relationships across these regions.
Great-West Lifeco and its companies have approximately $2.1 trillion in consolidated assets under administration as at March 31, 2021 and are members of the Power Corporation group of companies. Great-West Lifeco trades on the Toronto (TSX) Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol GWO.