Prudential Buys Hartford Life-Insurance Arm

Prudential Financial Inc. made its first big acquisition since early 2011 by acquiring the individual life-insurance business of Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. for $615 million in cash, increasing its U.S. operations as its rival delivers on a promise to slim down.

The deal, which is expected to close early next year, will also allow Hartford to free up almost $1 billion in capital it held to support the business, the company said Thursday in a statement.

For Hartford, the sale would complete its goal to narrow its focus to property-casualty and group-benefits insurance, and mutual funds. It “represents a significant milestone in the execution” of the company’s strategy “to deliver greater value to shareholders,” Hartford Chief Executive Liam McGee said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal

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