Desjardins makes offer to acquire Western Financialpar Donna Glasgow | January 24 2011 03:45PM
On Dec. 23, Desjardins Financial Group announced that it had entered into a support agreement with Western Financial Group to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Western Financial at a price of $4.15 per common share in cash for a total transaction value of $443 million.
Western Financial is the largest insurance and financial services retailer in Western Canada with 121 offices in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its business units include the Network (the largest property and casualty brokerage in Western Canada), Bank West, Western Life and Western Financial Insurance.
“We are delighted that Western Financial recognizes the value of our offer. This transaction will allow us to accelerate our business development in Western Canada, and in that way, it is perfectly aligned with our strategic plan,” said Monique Leroux, Desjardins’ Chair of the Board, President and CEO.
Scott Tannas, founding President and Chief Executive Officer of Western Financial said: “Our half-million customers…will benefit from this transaction. They will have more choices at more competitive prices. Our shareholders, who have been patient in these recessionary times, will enjoy a fair payout. Our staff can rest assured that, by keeping our distinctive Western brand and by maintaining our headquarters here in High River, we will have even greater opportunities to expand our market share as we benefit from being part of the Desjardins Financial Group.”
The transaction contemplated by the offer will be carried out by way of a take-over bid through Desjardins Financial Corporation Inc., a subsidiary of Desjardins Financial Group.
The offer is subject to customary conditions and the receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2011.