MetLife Inc. has agreed to take over Citigroup Inc.’s share of an annuity joint venture in Japan when it completes its proposed acquisition of Citigroup’s Travelers Life & Annuity unit.[@@]

One of the Citigroup units involved in the MetLife-Travelers Life deal, CitiInsurance International Holdings Inc., owns a 49% stake in Mitsui Sumitomo CitiInsurance Life Insurance Company Ltd., Tokyo.

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company Ltd., Tokyo, a large Japanese multiline insurer, owns the other 51% of the 4-year-old joint venture, which sells fixed and variable annuities to individual consumers through financial institutions.

MetLife, New York, hopes to complete the acquisition of Travelers Life, Hartford, by the end of the summer. MetLife also will get CitiInsurance International, and it now has agreed to seek the governmental approvals necessary to keep CitiInsurance and the 49% stake in Mitsui Sumitomo CitiInsurance Life, according to MetLife and Mitsui Sumitomo.

“The letter of intent places the highest priority on continuation of the current business and business model of the [joint venture] company and the strong parent support the company enjoys,” the joint venture partners say in a statement about the fate of the joint venture.