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Aegon agrees to buy BlackRock's U.K. workplace pension division

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(Bloomberg) — Aegon NV agreed to buy BlackRock Inc.’s U.K. defined-contribution pension business to bolster its position in the country’s workplace savings market.

The deal will transfer 12 billion pounds ($17.6 billion) of assets under management and 350,000 customers to the Hague-based company, Aegon said in a statement on Tuesday. BlackRock’s Paul Bucksey will become managing director of the pension and administration unit. The terms of the transaction, due to be completed in the second quarter of 2017, weren’t disclosed.

Aegon is well positioned to take advantage of growth in a market that is expected “to triple in size over the next 10 years,” Adrian Grace, chief executive officer of Aegon U.K., said in the statement.

The Dutch insurer said the deal will push it into a top-three position in the U.K. workplace savings market and create a division with about 30 billion pounds of assets under management. New York-based BlackRock will grow its defined contribution investments business by supplying products to pension funds and other providers, it said.