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Unum Group Reportedly Discussed Sale to Canada's Sun Life Financial

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Uploaded on Mar 9, 2011

Unum Group (UNM), the largest U.S. disability insurer, reportedly weighed a recent sale to Canada's Sun Life Financial Inc. (SLF.TO) before talks broke down.

With a market capitalization of about US$8 billion, Chattanooga, Tennessee-based Unum would have been the biggest sale of a public U.S. insurance company since 2004, this is reported by Bloomberg citing a person with knowledge of the matter. The person declined to be identified because the talks were private.

Sun Life, Canada's third-largest insurer, reportedly said in November 2009 that it needed an acquisition in the U.S. life-insurance market to "significantly" expand its presence there.

Sun Life received about a third of its revenue last year from the U.S., according to Bloomberg data. The insurer has more than 2,800 employees in the U.S. and owns Boston-based MFS Investment Management, the country's oldest mutual fund.

Jim Sabourin, a spokesman for Unum, and Frank Switzer, a spokesman for Sun Life, reportedly declined to comment.

The talks broke down in January, and Unum may still be open to approaches, according to the Wall Street Journal, which reported the discussions earlier today.

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