NU Online News Service, Sept. 28, 11:32 a.m. – Old Mutual P.L.C., London, a major competitor in the South African and British insurance markets, today completed the purchase of Fidelity and Guaranty Life Insurance Company, Baltimore, a life insurance, annuity and structured settlements company.

The move is part of Old Mutual’s effort to become a significant player in the U.S. life insurance and fixed annuity markets.

Old Mutual purchased F&G Life from its parent company, the St. Paul Companies Inc., St. Paul, Minn., for $335 million in cash and $300 million in common shares.

Old Mutual is also rolling out plans to turn Unified Life Insurance Company, Overland Park, Kan, a small life insurer it acquired in March, into Americom, a U.S. fixed annuity and life insurance operation with what Old Mutual hopes will be a “powerful and distinctive distribution system.”

Old Mutual made a third U.S. acquisition in September 1999, when it acquired United Asset Management Corp., Boston, a large money manager. F&G Life generated $59 million in after-tax operating profits in 2000 on $1.2 billion in premiums and $5 billion in assets under management, according to company figures. The company is known for distributing its products through independent agent networks known as master general agents. The company is licensed in all U.S. states except New York.

Old Mutual’s deal to purchase F&G Life was concluded following receipt of regulatory approval in Maryland and New York, where F&G Life operates through its Thomas Jefferson Life subsidiary.