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Allstate to offload Lincoln Benefit to Resolution Life for $600m

Personal lines insurer Allstate has agreed to divest its life and annuity businesses Lincoln Benefit Life Company (LBL) to Resolution Life, in a deal agreed for $600m.

The insurer said that it will cease issuing fixed annuities at the end of 2013 and use third party annuity companies to ensure Allstate agencies and exclusive financial specialists continue providing various protection and retirement products.

Allstate chairman, president and CEO Thomas Wilson said, "The sale of Lincoln Benefit Life will sharpen Allstate Financial’s focus on its agency channel while still providing an array of products for its customers."

The proceedings from divestiture will be deployed to garner attractive risk-adjusted returns, while slashing exposure to spread-based business and interest rates, Wilson added.

Subject to customary closing conditions as well as concerned regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to complete by the end of the year.

Following sale, Allstate will receive $350m to $400m in a statutory gain, while the same will boost its deployable capital by nearly $1bn and slash Allstate life and annuity reserves by $13bn.

Acquired by Allstate in 1984, LBL was set up in 1938, and its insurance products and services are marketed through brokerage agencies, independent agents, and Allstate exclusive agencies in all states except New York, the District of Columbia, Guam and the US Virgin Islands.