Statement on merger talks issued by Irish Life and Irish Permanent:

 

"In response to press speculation yesterday, the Boards of Irish Permanent and Irish Life announce that preliminary discussions in respect of a possible merger have been held recently between the respective chief executives of Irish Permanent and Irish Life. Following these initial discussions it has been agreed between the parties that further meetings will be held to explore the opportunity and to determine whether there are any practical impediments to a merger.

"The Boards of Irish Permanent and Irish Life wish to emphasise that at this early stage there is no certainty that a merger can and will be implemented. In any such merger, it is envisaged that the transaction would be concluded on terms broadly in line with recent relative market capitalisations of Irish Permanent and Irish Life."