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Guggenheim Partners, Investors, Buy Security Benefit Corp.

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Chicago-based Guggenheim Partners announced February 16 that it and a group of investors have reached a definitive agreement to acquire Security Benefit Corp., the Topeka-based firm that includes Security Financial Resources, Security Benefit Life, se2 , and SGI|Security Global Investors and Rydex|SGI. The Guggenheim group said it will invest “$400 million in Security Benefit,” and that it expects to close in the late second quarter or early third quarter of 2010. Additional terms were not disclosed.

Security Benefit acquired Rydex in January 2008.

Guggenheim Partners said it began working with Security Benefit in June 2009 when Guggenheim became the investment advisor for Security Benefit’s general account. After the acquisition close, Howard Fricke, who served as Security Benefit’s president and chief executive officer from 1988 to 2000 and chairman from 1996 to 2006, will serve as interim chairman of the board, president, and CEO. Todd Boehly, managing partner in the office of the CEO of Guggenheim Partners, will serve as chairman following the close of the transaction. Kris Robbins, Security Benefit’s chairman, president, and CEO, has retired effective immediately.

Guggenheim said that “based on preliminary feedback from Standard & Poor’s,” after the close it expects Security Benefit Life’s “credit ratings and outlook should improve, returning to investment grade over time.”