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BB&T pays $500 million for Swett & Crawford business

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Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford Ltd. said Wednesday that BB&T Corp. has agreed to pay $500 million in cash for the former Swett & Crawford operations.

Cooper Gay put the Swett & Crawford portion of its business, CGSC North America Holdings Corp., on the block in November following the companies' merger five years ago.

“Following an exhaustive process which has generated significant interest from potential acquirers, BB&T have made a compelling offer which the group board believe represents a transaction to the benefit of all parties including clients and employees of Swett & Crawford,” Cooper Gay Group CEO Steve Hearn said in a statement.

“The proceeds of the sale will provide us with the resources to transform our business. It marks a tremendous milestone in the history of the group, enabling us to build for the future with a fresh outlook,” he said.

The $500 million cash sale to BB&T, which requires regulatory approval, consists of U.S. wholesale insurance brokerage operations, specialty managing general agencies that include J.H. Blades & Co. and U.S. reinsurance brokerage business, Cooper Gay said.

However, specialty managing general agent Creechurch International Underwriters, which operates in Canada, is not included, Cooper Gay said.