TSX:GWO Readers are referred to the disclaimer regarding Forward-Looking Information at the end of this Release. WINNIPEG, MB, May 11 /CNW/ - Great-West Lifeco Inc. today announced that its wholly-owned United Kingdom subsidiary, Canada Life Limited (Canada Life), has reached an agreement with The Equitable Life Assurance Society (Equitable Life) in the UK to acquire the assets and liabilities associated with most of Equitable's not-for-profit pension annuity business. The transaction involves the acquisition of approximately 130,000 policies, having liabilities and supporting assets with an approximate value at December 31, 2005 of $9.3 billion (pounds sterling 4.6 billion). The transaction is subject to regulatory and court approvals. Canada Life will acquire these liabilities effective January 1, 2006 by way of indemnity reinsurance. Following closing, expected in the first quarter of 2007, the liabilities and assets will be transferred to Canada Life. The actual values will depend on the asset values at the date of closing. The transaction is expected to be accretive to Lifeco earnings in 2006 and subsequent years. "We believe this transaction represents the largest acquisition of a not- for-profit annuity portfolio in the UK," said Raymond L. McFeetors, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lifeco. It is Canada Life's second such transaction in the past year. Canada Life has established expertise in the UK annuity market, and already serves more than 150,000 annuitants. "This transaction represents a major strategic step in the continued expansion of Canada Life's presence in the UK, and will enable Canada Life to benefit from greater economies of scale in a growing market," McFeetors said. "Moreover, the transaction advances our strategy to capitalize on the company's position in core European markets." Great-West Lifeco Inc. (TSX:GWO) is a financial services holding company with interests in the life insurance, health insurance, retirement savings, and reinsurance businesses. Lifeco has operations in Canada, the United States and Europe through The Great-West Life Assurance Company, London Life Insurance Company, The Canada Life Assurance Company and Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company. Lifeco and its companies have $182 billion in assets under administration. Great-West Lifeco is a member of the Power Financial Corporation group of companies. Forward-Looking Information This release contains forward-looking statements about the Company, including its business operations, strategy and expected financial performance and condition. Forward-looking statements include statements that are predictive in nature, depend upon or refer to future events or conditions, or include words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "estimates" or negative versions thereof and similar expressions. In addition, any statement that may be made concerning future financial performance (including revenues, earnings or growth rates), ongoing business strategies or prospects, and possible future Company action, including statements made in this release by the Company in regards to the expected closing of the transaction with Equitable Life and the expectation that the transaction will be accretive to Lifeco earnings in 2006 and subsequent years, are also forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations and projections about future events and are inherently subject to, among other things, risks, uncertainties and assumptions about the Company, economic factors and the insurance industry generally. They are not guarantees of future performance, and actual events and results could differ materially from those expressed or implied by forward-looking statements made by the Company due to, but not limited to, important factors such as sales levels, premium income, fee income, expense levels, mortality experience, morbidity experience, policy lapse rates and taxes, as well as general economic, political and market factors in North America and internationally, interest and foreign exchange rates, global equity and capital markets, business competition, technological change, changes in government regulations, unexpected judicial or regulatory proceedings, catastrophic events, and the Company's ability to complete strategic transactions and integrate acquisitions. The reader is cautioned that the foregoing list of important factors is not exhaustive. The reader is also cautioned to consider these and other factors carefully and to not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Other than as specifically required by applicable law, the Company has no intention to update any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.