Canada pension board buys insurer Wilton for $1.8 bln

TORONTO, March 21 Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:28am EDT

TORONTO, March 21 (Reuters) - The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) said on Friday it agreed to buy U.S. life insurance and reinsurance provider Wilton Re Holdings Ltd for $1.8 billion from a group of private equity firms, the first foray by the global dealmaker into the U.S. insurance business.

CPPIB said it would acquire the common stock of Wilton, a leading acquirer of closed blocks of life insurance policies, from a group of private equity firms led by Stone Point Capital, Kelso & Co, Vestar Capital partners and FFL. Reinsurers help insurers spread risk in exchange for part of the profit.

CPPIB manages Canada's national pension fund. (Reporting by Allison Martell; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)