HIGH RIVER, Alberta – February 28, 2005 – Western Financial Group Inc. (“Western Financial Group” or the “Company”) announces that it has closed the previously announced acquisition (the “Acquisition”) of Federated Life Insurance Company of Canada, a federally regulated life and health insurance company for an aggregate purchase price of $20 million. The Company used the proceeds raised from it’s previously completed public offering of subscription receipts to fund the Acquisition. In connection with the completion of the Acquisition, the Company issued 10,350,000 common shares upon conversion of the issued and outstanding subscription receipts.
With the closing of the Acquisition, trading in the subscription receipts (WES.R) will be halted at the opening of trading on March 1, 2005 and will remain halted until the close of business, at which time they will be delisted. Holders of subscription receipts at the halt of trading (after giving effect to settlement of trades occurring before the halt) will be entitled to receive one common share of the Company for each subscription receipt held. As subscription receipts trade in the “book-entry” system and no individual certificates are issued, holders of subscription receipts are not required to take any action in order to receive the common shares.
“The acquisition of Federated Life substantially completes the integrated financial services product line that Western Financial Group has been building since 1996,” says Scott Tannas, President & Chief Executive Officer of Western Financial Group. “We are excited to begin working with the management and staff of Federated Life to bring group life and health insurance to our mix of products.”
Federated Life as of today, has been renamed Western Life Assurance Company.
Western Financial Group is a leading financial services organization with a focus on “small town” Western Canada. The Company’s primary business is the ownership and operation of the WFG Agency Network, which consists of 54 branch offices located in small cities, towns and villages across Western Canada, through which it provides P&C insurance products and services as well as banking products, life insurance, group benefits and investment products. The Company also owns Bank West, The Western Mutual Fund Company and Western Life Assurance Company.
The common shares of Western Financial Group are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “WES”, the 9% Debentures trade under the stock symbol “WES.DB.A”.