International Business Machines Corp., Armonk, N.Y., has agreed to buy a Southeastern computer processing services business.[@@]

IBM plans to acquire Liberty Insurance Services Corp., Greenville, S.C., from RBC Insurance, a division of Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto.

The price of the deal and other terms were not disclosed. IBM says it hopes to complete the acquisition by Dec. 31.

After the acquisition, Liberty will handle life and annuity policy processing for more than a dozen life insurance companies worldwide, IBM says.

RBC Insurance has agreed that IBM will take over business processing services for its U.S. operations. IBM’s responsibilities will include contact center management, policy administration, claims management and payment receipt and reconciliation.

About 700 Liberty employees will stay with IBM in Greenville and a Liberty office in Kansas City, Mo. IBM also will retain Liberty’s field sales force of about 400 agents, RBC says.

Royal Bank of Canada acquired the Liberty insurance processing operations and other Greenville-based Liberty insurance operations in 2000.