NU Online News Service, July 29, 3:42 p.m. – Canada Life Financial Corp., Toronto, says its U.K. division has agreed to buy the group life and group long-term disability businesses of Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group P.L.C., London, a large property-casualty insurer, for the equivalent of about $96 million in U.S. dollars in cash.

The purchase agreement covers a block of 11,000 policies that insure 1.5 million people and generate $285 million in annual premium revenue.

Completing the deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would make Canada Life the leader in the U.K. group life market and the second biggest player in the group disability market, Canada Life says.

The companies hope to complete the deal by Oct. 1 and transfer the Royal units to Canada Life in mid-2003.

Canada Life estimates it will keep about 180 Royal employees. It has not said how many workers its own U.K. units and the Royal units subject to the purchase agreement now employ.