NU Online News Service, June 23, 2003, 1:24 p.m. EDT – John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, has agreed to sell its group life unit to MetLife Inc., New York.

The companies hope to complete the deal later this year. The price and other terms were not immediately available.

The Hancock group life unit generated $1.6 million in sales in the first quarter, down from $6.5 million in sales in the first quarter of 2002, according to Hancock’s first quarter financial supplement.

Hancock is selling the group life unit because it wants to focus on individual life insurance, group and individual long term care insurance, annuities, guaranteed and structured financial products, and institutional investment management, Hancock says.

“The sale will free up capital that can be redeployed to strengthen the company and create value for our stakeholders,” Hancock Chairman David D’Alessandro says in a statement about the deal.