Hannover Re is making some big purchases. According to reports, it will purchase an individual life reinsurance business previously reinsured from ING Re by affiliates of Scottish Re Group Ltd. in a reinsurance and asset purchase transaction. Hannover RE also will buy the policy administration systems of Scottish Re, as well as other assets supporting the U.S. mortality reinsurance business.

Scottish Re acquired the ING business in a reinsurance transaction Dec. 31, 2004. ING is estimated to generate a premium volume of approximately US $1.2 billion in 2009, and will result in Hannover Re moving up to the No. 5 position in terms of individual life reinsurance in-force in the United States.

Hannover Re says it will assume all liabilities of the ING Business and will in turn receive assets to fund those liabilities from Scottish Re. The acquisition includes all operating assets required to administer the ING Business. Hannover Re also will employ part of Scottish Re's staff, thus ensuring operational continuity and a transfer of know-how.

No external funding will be required to complete this transaction, Hannover says. The transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2009, is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.

"This is a transformational step for our global life reinsurance ambitions," says Hannover Re’s CEO Wilhelm Zeller. "It contributes a large block of business in force, together with industry-leading capabilities in mortality research, pricing, underwriting and reinsurance administration, which will substantially increase our presence and earnings from the U.S. mortality risk market. It has the added benefit of improving our diversification of earnings sources, placing less reliance on the more volatile non-life sector going forward."

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