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AEGON to acquire Merrill Lynch life companies


THE HAGUE, Netherlands&;151; AEGON N.V., the Hague, Netherlands-based insurance group, is to acquire the life insurance operations of New York-headquartered investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is expected to close before the end of 2007, AEGON is to acquire Merrill Lynch's Life Insurance Company and ML Life Insurance Company of New York for $1.3 billion in cash. The price includes excess surplus of around $425 million, the company said in a statement.

Merrill Lynch will continue to serve its insurance clients through its distribution and advisory services, it said, and will continue to offer its products through the companies AEGON is acquiring. At the same time, AEGON's Transamerica companies will support Merrill Lynch's financial advisory network.

The two life companies will give AEGON around $800 million in variable annuity sales and $10 billion in variable annuity assets, it said.