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Private equity firm to buy USI for $1.4 billion


BRIARCLIFF MANOR, N.Y.--An affiliate of Goldman Sachs will acquire USI Holdings Corp. for about $1.4 billion, USI announced Tuesday.

The sum that Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, a private equity affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co., will pay for the Briarcliff Manor, N.Y.-based insurance brokerage includes repayment of USI's existing debt obligations.

USI formed a special committee of outside directors to review potential acquirers in October 2006.

The transaction is expected to close during the second quarter of this year, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval and "satisfaction of other conditions," according to a statement issued by USI announcing the merger.

Based on 2005 brokerage revenues, USI was the ninth-largest broker of U.S. business with $504.3 million, according to Business Insurance's annual rankings.