AMSTERDAM Aegon (AEGN.AS), the Dutch-based insurer that does most of its business in the United States, said on Monday it would sell some U.S. operations to Wilton Re [WRFL.UL] to boost its financial strength under Europe's new Solvency II regime for insurers.
Aegon will sell its U.S. corporate and bank life insurance to Wilton for an undisclosed sum, and in return, Aegon's Transamerica unit will provide reinsurance for some $14 billion of Wilton liabilities.
Aegon said it would book a loss of around 270 million euros ($300 million) on the deal when it closes this summer.
However, the move will free up 630 million euros in cash Aegon was holding to pay claims, improving group solvency under Europe's new Solvency II regime by 6 percentage points.
Analysts regard the figure as a prime indicator of a European insurer's ability to pay dividends.
Aegon's shares have fallen since March, when it revised down its solvency ratio to 157 percent after a review.. It reported better than expected first quarter earnings on May 11, but shares again fell on solvency concerns.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling, editing by Louise Heavens)