A giant British insurer has closed on a major player in the U.S. equity indexed annuity market.

Aviva P.L.C., London, agreed in July to pay $3.1 billion in cash for AmerUs Group Company, Des Moines, Iowa.

Aviva financed the deal with a combination of cash on hand, proceeds from a stock sale, and borrowed money.

AmerUs shareholders approved the deal in October.

Aviva generates the equivalent of about $63 billion in sales per year. The company made an unsuccessful effort earlier this year to acquire another large U.K. financial services company, Prudential P.L.C., London, the parent of Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Lansing, Mich.

AmerUs reported $191 million in net income in 2005 on $1.6 billion in revenue.

Aviva says it plans to combine its U.S. operations with those of AmerUs and to locate the headquarters of the merged operations in Des Moines.

The combined business will be called Aviva, Aviva says.

Thomas Godlasky, who has been chief executive of AmerUs, now is chief executive of the combined U.S. operations, Aviva says.

Philip Easter, finance director of Aviva’s U.K. general insurance business, will become the chief financial officer.

Melinda Urion, the CFO of AmerUs, will leave the business Dec. 15, Aviva says.