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Swiss Re unit to buy private life and pension consolidator

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Swiss Re Ltd. on Wednesday said its Admin Re unit will buy Guardian Holdings Europe Ltd., the holding company for Guardian Financial Services, from London-based private equity firm Cinven for £1.6 billion ($2.49 billion).

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, is expected to close in early 2016, Swiss Re said in a statement Wednesday.

Admin Re and London-based Guardian both buy and consolidate blocks of in-force life and pension insurance business, Swiss Re said.

As part of the deal, Admin Re will add 900,000 annuity, life insurance and pension policies in the United Kingdom and Ireland, bringing the total policy count of Admin Re’s U.K. business to more than 4 million, according to the statement.

Admin Re expects to generate around $1.7 billion of gross cash, including capital synergies, over the first three years following its acquisition of Guardian, according to the statement.

“This acquisition is an excellent opportunity for Admin Re to further enlarge its successful business and diversify its portfolio,” Swiss Re group CEO Michel M. Liès said in the statement, adding that “the expected returns exceed our profitability targets for new business.”