As required by Bill C-8, the four recently demutualized insurers have a common transition period during which they must remain widely held. No mergers by, or acquisitions of, demutualized firms are permitted during that period. The transition period ends on December 31, 2001.
After December 31, 2001, demutualized insurers with equity of under $5 billion will automatically be eligible to be closely held, however, transactions involving these companies will continue to require the approval of the Minister of Finance. As a matter of policy, those demutualized companies with over $5 billion in equity will continue to be widely held.
While companies are always free to hold commercial discussions with one another, the Minister will not consider any applications regarding mergers or acquisitions of these companies prior to January 1, 2002. More specifically, no applications will be considered under financial institutions statutes and no analysis of potential transactions will be undertaken before this date.