NU Online News Service, Aug. 20, 2004, 2:29 p.m. EDT

Aetna Inc., Hartford, has agreed to pay $250 million for Strategic Resource Company, Columbia, S.C.[@@]

Strategic Resource is a privately held benefit plan administrator. It specializes in running plans that serve part-time and hourly workers.

Aetna hopes to complete the deal by Dec. 31.

Strategic Resource was founded in 1976 and now employs 320 people. It serves more than 700 employers in 46 states and the District of Columbia.