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WINNIPEG, Manitoba-Great-West Lifeco Inc. last week outbid Royal Bank of Canada in its quest to take over London Insurance Group.

Winnipeg, Manitoba-based Great-West, which writes group and individual life and health insurance, offered $2.9 billion Canadian ($2.08 billion) in cash and securities for all outstanding common shares of London Insurance, based in London, Ontario. London Insurance also writes individual, group life and health insurance.

That bid competed with a June 27 offer by Toronto-based Royal Bank to purchase London Insurance for $2.4 billion Canadian ($1.72 billion). After Royal Bank's offer, London Insurance entered into a support agreement with Royal, agreeing not to solicit or encourage competing bids.

Also, London's majority shareholder, Trilon Financial Corp., entered into a lockup agreement with Royal Bank. Trilon agreed to tender its 57% common share interest in London to Royal.

The support and lockup agreements permitted unsolicited competing bids. The agreements left Royal with three days to match Great-West's offer, which it declined to do.

The London Life Insurance Co., which comprises London Insurance Group's life business, reported 1996 premiums volume of $4 billion Canadian ($2.87 billion). It reported net income of $150 million Canadian ($107.5 million).

Great-West Life Assurance Co., a unit of insurance holding company Great-West Lifeco Inc., reported 1995 premium volume of $1.54 billion Canadian ($1.13 billion). Its 1995 net income was $277.4 million Canadian ($203.3 million).