Desjardins Financial Group Obtains Regulatory Approvals for its Offer to acquire Western
Lévis (Qc), High River (Alta), April 6, 2011 – Desjardins Financial Group through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Desjardins Financial Corporation Inc. ("Desjardins") and Western Financial Group Inc. ("Western") today announced that the proposed acquisition by Desjardins of Western has been approved by the Minister of Finance of Canada and the Canadian Competition Bureau.
Desjardins has therefore satisfied all regulatory conditions regarding its offers to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares, First Preferred Shares, Series Three and First Preferred Shares, Series Four of Western (together, the "Offers").
Also, as required under the terms of the Offers, Western completed today the sale of all its interest in Jennings Capital Inc.
Subject to the fulfilment or waiver of all other conditions set out in the take-over bid circular dated January 21, 2011, as amended on February 28, 2011 and March 21, 2011, Desjardins intends to take up and pay for shares tendered to the Offers on April 15, 2011.
Desjardins notes that the Board of Directors of Western has recommended that holders of its common shares tender to the common share offer and encourages shareholders to do so in
advance of the expiry date on April 15, 2011.
About Desjardins Financial Group
Awarded the coveted title “Bank of the Year 2010 — Canada” by the UK magazine The Banker, Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the sixth largest in the world, with assets of over $172 billion. Drawing on the strength of its caisse network in Québec and Ontario, and its subsidiaries across Canada, it offers a full range of financial products and services to its 5.8 million members and clients. Desjardins specializes in Wealth Management and Life and
Health Insurance, in Property and Casualty Insurance, in Personal Services, in Business and Institutional Services. As one of the largest employers in the country and one of Canada’s 10 Most Admired Corporate CulturesTM of 2010, Desjardins is supported by the skills of its 42,500 employees and the commitment of nearly 6,000 elected officers. For more information, visit www.desjardins.com.
About Western Financial Group
Western Financial Group provides property, liability and life insurance as well as banking and investment services for more than 550,000 customers in Western Canada. Our business units
The Network is the largest property and casualty brokerage in Western Canada, providing auto, home, farm and business insurance to residents of 96 communities. In most locations we also offer life insurance products travel insurance some investment services, and deposit and loan services such as the purchase of GICs, as well as personal and commercial mortgages and loans.
Bank West is a virtual bank accessible through brokers and customer service agents, focused on commercial, agricultural, recreational vehicle and several types of personal lending, and GICs.
Western Life partners with others who have a customer relationship in place with a product line including Individual Life, Disability and Critical Illness products, Group Health for small employer groups, A&S products designed for niche contexts and many variations of Creditor Insurance products.
Western Financial Insurance is Canada’s oldest and largest pet insurance provider under the brand name PetSecure, leading the market place since 1989 in providing Canadian pet parents with innovative coverage to meet the diverse needs of their pets.
For more information on Western visit www.westernfg.ca.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Western shareholders with procedural questions regarding the Offers process should contact Georgeson, the Information Agent for the Offers at the toll free number 1-866-725-6575 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On behalf of Desjardins Financial Group
André Chapleau, Director of Media Relations
514-281-7229 or 1-866-866-7000, extension 7229
On behalf of Western Financial Group
Arlene Beggs, Executive Assistant to the CEO