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By Leslie Scism, Dana Cimilluca and Anna W. Mathews
New York Life Insurance Co. is negotiating with Cigna Corp. to acquire a unit that sells nonmedical insurance products to employers, a deal that could be valued at as much as $6 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.
Cigna in recent months has been seeking a buyer for a business that sells life, accident and disability-income insurance to employers for their workers, in a move that would help the health giant focus on its core business, according to the people.
Potential buyers including MetLife Inc. and Sun Life Financial Inc. have been circling the company too, but New York Life recently emerged as the leading contender, the people said. The two sides are aiming to reach a pact by year-end. There is no guarantee Cigna and New York Life will manage to do so; and if they don't, Cigna could turn again to one of the erstwhile bidders.
New York Life is one of the nation's oldest and financially strongest life insurers. It is owned by its policyholders, one of the last of a once-large number of so-called mutuals, and doesn't trade publicly. Based in New York, the 174-year-old company is well known for its fleet of career agents who sell traditional life insurance to households across the U.S.
Like other U.S. life insurers, New York Life is looking for ways to expand in a competitive marketplace as low interest rates make life insurance and retirement-income annuities -- its core products -- less attractive to some consumers.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
December 10, 2019 13:39 ET (18:39 GMT)
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