Cigna has reached a deal to buy protection and travel insurance provider FirstAssist with the aim of growing its UK presence.
FirstAssist has nearly 3 million policy holders in the UK and was previously owned by Barclays Private Equity.
The £71m deal is pending regulatory approval but is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Cigna said the acquisition would add a new product line to its global portfolio and enable the company to expand its individual business in the UK and around the world.
It also cited rising travel trends that offered opportunities in providing customers' protection against unexpected medical and other travel-related emergencies.
The deal combines FirstAssist's products, services and distribution partners with Cigna's direct marketing operations, global medical network, affinity business model, and supplemental health, life and accident products.
William L. Atwell, president of Cigna International, said the company welcomed FirstAssist's 480 employees and their strategic business partners into the business.
"This acquisition closely aligns with our growth strategy and mission to help the customers we serve improve their health, well-being and sense of security," he said.
Martin Totty, managing director of FirstAssist, added: "We have made great strides in the travel insurance sector and will benefit further from Cigna's long-term commitment to growth.
"As part of Cigna, we will now have access to wider distribution, additional product lines and the opportunity to extend our offerings to other markets."
Catherine Wall, director of Barclays Private Equity, said: "The sale of FirstAssist Insurance Services represents the near total disposal of our original 2003 investment, and we are pleased with the results of our investment strategy to split the business into more specialist separate companies, and to find different buyers for each of them."
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