Prudential Financial Inc. has closed on a previously announced acquisition of Allstate Financial Inc.’s variable annuity business.

Prudential says it invested around $591 million in the business through a reinsurance transaction.

Allstate Financial, a unit of Allstate Corp., Northbrook, Ill., had about $17 billion in VA account value. Completing the deal makes Prudential, Newark, N.J., the third largest provider of advisor-sold VAs in terms of assets under administration and management and the fourth largest in terms of sales, according to VARDS, a division of Morningstar Inc., Chicago.

“Our priorities in 2006 will be to integrate the business, launch our variable annuity products in Allstate’s proprietary channel and build relationships within Allstate’s nonproprietary channel,” says David Odenath, president of Prudential Annuities.

Allstate’s proprietary distribution force includes about 13,700 independent contractors and financial professionals.

Allstate Financial will continue to sell variable annuities, but the contracts will be annuities written by Prudential that simply carry the Allstate brand name, the companies say.