NU Online News Service, Dec. 18, 2003, 5:10 p.m. EST – The Principal Financial Group Inc., Des Moines, Iowa, says it has agreed to acquire the Molloy Companies, Indianapolis.[@@]

The price of the deal and other terms were not immediately available.

The Molloy group includes affiliates that help administer employee health plans, handle actuarial work for benefit plans and perform related professional services.

The group processed $1.5 billion in claims in 2002 for 500 large and midsize employers with about 130,000 employees, Principal says.

Principal has been doing business with the Molloy group for more than 35 years and recently agreed to let the Molloy group help it administer self-funded health plans with fewer than 500 lives.

The Molloy group will keep its name after the acquisition, but Principal will refer to it as a member company of the Principal Financial Group, Principal says.