NU Online News Service, Dec. 22, 2004, 5:35 p.m. EST

A Minneapolis company has completed a previously announced acquisition of a Lancaster, S.C., life and health insurer.[@@]

KMG America Corp. has agreed to pay about $124 million in cash and about $19 million in promissory note payments for the insurer, for Kanawha Insurance Company.

Kenneth Kuk, a life insurance industry veteran who spent years as a senior executive at ReliaStar Financial Corp., Minneapolis, formed KMG as a vehicle for acquiring Kanawha.

Kanawha sells voluntary and group insurance products through employers in the southeastern United States.

Kuk says he wants to use Kanawha as the basis for creating a national group and worksite insurance company.

In related news, KMG says it has succeeded at raising $191 million through an initial public offering of 21.7 million shares of common stock. The shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the trading symbol KMA.