NU Online News Service, Dec. 27, 12:26 p.m. – Manulife Financial Corp., Toronto, has made an official unsolicited offer to acquire Canada Life Financial Corp., Toronto, by mailing a 72-page proposal to the company’s stockholders.

Manulife is offering the Canada Life stockolders the equivalent of about $25 in U.S. currency per share, or about $4 billion for the whole company.

Canada Life executives argued earlier, when Manulife made an unofficial announcement of its takeover plans, that the price is too low.

Arthur Scace, chairman of a committee Canada Life formed to fight the takeover attempt, says Canada Life will send stockholders more information about the offer Jan. 13, 2003.

“There is no reason for shareholders to respond to the Manulife offer at this time,” Scace says in a statement. “The offer will be open for 60 days and probably longer as a result of Manulife’s need to obtain approval from regulatory authorities. Shareholders will have plenty of time to respond.”