NU Online News Service, June 17, 2004, 5:12 p.m. EDT

Western & Southern Financial Group, Cincinnati, has agreed to acquire the parent company of The Lafayette Life Insurance Company, Lafayette, Ind., through a merger.[@@]

Western & Southern is a life insurance and financial services company with $32 billion in assets, and Lafayette Life is a life insurer founded in 1905 that has $1.6 billion in assets.

The price of the deal and other financial terms were not immediately available. But Western & Southern would carry out the Lafayette Life acquisition by merging the companies’ policyholder-owned mutual holding companies, Western & Southern Mutual Holding Company and Lafayette Life MIHC Inc.

Western & Southern has agreed to keep Lafayette Life’s name, home office operations, corporate identity and Lafayette, Ind., jobs for at least 3 years following the completion of the acquisition.

Western & Southern also has agreed to fund the establishment of a charitable foundation for the benefit of the greater Lafayette, Ind., community, Western & Southern says.

The boards of Western & Southern and Lafayette Life already have approved the deal. Before the companies can complete the deal, they must get permission from both companies’ policyholders and Ohio and Indiana insurance regulators.