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Cigna to acquire travel insurance provider FirstAssist from Barclays Private Equity

Cigna, a provider of employer-purchased medical insurance for expatriates, has agreed to acquire UK-based travel and protection insurance firm FirstAssist Insurance Services from Barclays Private Equity.

With nearly 3 million policy holders in the UK, FirstAssist specializes in providing products and services that protect customers and their families against unexpected events through travel, health, employment and legal-related insurance.

The acquisition will add a new product line to Cigna’s extensive global portfolio, enabling the company to expand its individual business in the UK and around the world.

The deal combines FirstAssist’s products, services and distribution partners with Cigna’s world-class direct marketing operations, global medical network, successful affinity business model, and broad array of supplemental health, life and accident products.

Cigna International president William Atwell said this acquisition closely aligns with the growth strategy and mission to help the customers to improve their health, well-being and sense of security.

FirstAssist managing director Martin Totty said as part of Cigna, FirstAssist will now have access to wider distribution, additional product lines and the opportunity to extend our offerings to other Cigna markets.

Pending regulatory approval, the acquisition is expected to close in 2011.