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LONDON-Benfield Group Ltd. is paying 120 million pounds ($195.4 million) for fellow London-based reinsurance broker Greig Fester Group Ltd. in a deal that will create one of the world's largest privately owned reinsurance brokers.

The enlarged company, to be called Benfield Greig Group P.L.C., will have leading positions in non-marine catastrophe, marine, aviation and accident reinsurance.

The offer was driven by John Coldman, who has been with Benfield since 1985 and became its chairman last year after the death of Matthew Harding. Mr. Coldman previously had worked for Greig Fester for 18 years. He will become chairman of the enlarged group, while Dieter Losse, chairman of Greig Fester, will become deputy chairman of Benfield Greig.

The groups believe their reinsurance brokering businesses are complementary, with Benfield a leading London market intermediary and Greig Fester a specialist reinsurance broker operating internationally, mainly in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the Far East.

For the first six months of 1997, Benfield reported pre-tax profits of 12.1 million pounds ($20.1 million) on gross revenues of 22.8 million pounds ($38 million).

Greig Fester earned in the first half of 1997 pre-tax profits of 7 million pounds ($11.7 million) on gross revenues of 26 million pounds ($43.3 million).

There are no plans to list the new company on any stock exchange.