NU Online News Service, Feb. 3, 2004, 5:37 p.m. EST – UnumProvident Corp., Chattanooga, Tenn., is reducing its stake in a property-casualty insurer in Argentina.[@@]

The company is putting the assets of Boston Compania Argentina de Seguros S.A. and a Boston Compania sister company, Fibos S.A., in a new holding company, Unum Latin America Holdings S.A.

UnumProvident will end up owning only 40% of Unum Latin, and new investors will be contributing $3.5 million in new capital to the operation, UnumProvident says. One of UnumProvident’s predecessor companies paid $11 million for a 71% stake in Boston Compania in 1997.

UnumProvident hopes to complete the deal, which is subject to approval by Argentine regulators, by the end of March.

UnumProvident says it is reducing its stake in Boston Compania because it prefers to focus on the income protection business in the United States and the United Kingdom.