NU Online News Service, Aug. 8, 10:03 a.m. – Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, has agreed to acquire Provident Mutual Life Insurance Co., Berwyn, Pa., through a “sponsored demutualization.”

Provident Mutual is now a policyholder-owned mutual insurer.

The deal agreement calls for Nationwide to become the new owner of Provident Mutual. Nationwide would compensate the policyholders for their loss of policy-based ownership rights by giving them the equivalent of about $1.6 billion in cash, policy credits and Nationwide stock.

The boards of both companies have approved the acquistion, Nationwide says.

Nationwide hopes to complete the deal by mid-2002.

Completing the acquisition would make Nationwide the third largest U.S. provider of variable life insurance, Nationwide says.

Acquiring Provident Mutual would also give Nationwide new sales and growth opportunities, Nationwide says.

Provident Mutual has 768 career financial consultants, 1,100 independent agents, an affiliated broker-dealer and a significant retirement savings sales force.