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Sun Life to buy Genworth's U.S. benefits business


TORONTO--Sun Life Financial Inc. has agreed to buy the U.S. group benefits business of Richmond, Va.-based Genworth Financial Inc. for $650 million, Sun Life announced Thursday.

Toronto-based Sun Life said the purchase will strengthen its existing group insurance business unit. Genworth's group offerings target primarily small businesses, while Sun Life's group unit focuses on midsize and large employers. Both provide their products nationwide, a Sun Life spokesman said.

The purchase will also expand Sun Life's product offerings because Genworth's employee benefits group, based in Windsor, Conn., currently offers dental insurance, which Sun Life has outsourced, the spokesman said. Along with dental, the Genworth group provides group life, disability and medical stop loss coverage to 32,000 entities with about 2.9 million plan participants, according to Genworth.

Sun Life Financial U.S. reported a net income of $495 million Canadian ($424.7 million) for 2005, according to Sun Life's 2005 financial fact book. The group division of that unit offers life insurance, short and long-term disability benefits and medical stop-loss plans to more than 10,000 employer groups.

The Genworth benefits group currently has 650 employees and reported $24 million in net income on $554 million in revenue for the first nine months of 2006. For 2005, the Genworth group reported $31 million in net income on $717 million in revenue.

The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2007, subject to regulatory approval in the United States and Canada, Sun Life said.