The Great-West Life Assurance Company has announced:
its intention to redeem all 2,093,032 Non-Cumulative Preferred Shares, Series L on October 31, 2007 for the cash redemption price of $25.00 per share. The Series L Preferred Shares were issued on November 13, 1997.
GWL.PR.L is a relatively small issue (only 2,093,032 shares outstanding, according to the TSX), but this is an interesting development nevertheless.
This is a fixed-floater that was issued as consideration for the shares of London Insurance Group and have a paid-up capital of only $2.74. There will be a significant Deemed Dividend realized on the redemption of these shares – so holders should consult their personal tax advisors and figure out – pronto! – whether they should be sold instantly or not.
This deemed dividend WILL BE LIABLE FOR TAX irrespective of whether the holder actually got them in exchange for London Insurance shares or bought them yesterday, so pay attention and don’t waste any time before figuring out what this means for you! I’m only saying this once! Those who hold the shares on the redemption date will be putting a massive dividend on their tax returns. If the shares were bought at, say, $25, they will also be entitled to claim an equally massive capital loss. These effects might offset … they might not. CONSULT A TAX ADVISOR!
The timing of the call is not accidental – from the Takeover Document:
Until October 31, 2007, the holders of the GWL Preferred Shares, Series L will be entitled to receive quarterly non-cumulative preferential cash dividends, as and when declared by the Board of Directors of GWL, payable on the last day of January, April, July and October in each year at a rate equal to $0.325 per share to initially yield 5.20 %. The first such dividend, if declared, will be payable on January 31, 1998 in an amount per share equal to $1.30 multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days in the initial dividend period and the denominator of which is 365.
From October 31, 2007 (the ‘‘Floating Rate Period’’), the holders of the GWL Preferred Shares, Series L will be entitled to receive floating non-cumulative cash dividends, as and when declared by the Board of Directors of GWL, payable on the last day of January, April, July and October in each year at a rate in respect of each quarterly dividend period equal to one quarter of the greater of (a) 75% of Prime and (b) 4.50%.
October 31, 2007 was to have been an Exchange Date and these were to have been exchangeable into Series M, a fixed-reset issue … but none of this is applicable any more.
As mentioned by GWO on their site, full details of GWO.PR.L are available on SEDAR – look for “The Great-West Life Assurance Company” “Take-over Bid Circular” date September 11, 1997.
Great-West Lifeco, the parent, will announce second quarter results on August 1. I do hope they will announce the redemption of CL.PR.B … the continued existence of this issue is making my life miserable.
GWL.PR.L is not tracked by HIMIPref™.