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Penny Gusner Consumer Analyst

Business Men's Assurance bought by Liberty Life

Business Men's Assurance Co. of America (BMA), previously owned by Italian insurance giant Generali, has been purchased by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) through its South Carolina-based Libery Life Insurance Co. for $220 million.

BMA, which is based in Missouri, says the company's 150,000 life insurance policy and annuity holders should feel no impact from the sale.

BMA's mutual fund management company, Jones & Babson Inc., with $1.5 billion in assets under management, is to be acquired by RBC Dain Rauscher.

Generali will retain the life reinsurance division of BMA, which will be spun off into a stand-alone company.

The transaction, which is subject to approvals by regulators in Canada and the U.S. and by the boards of directors and shareholders of BMA and Jones & Babson, is expected to close by the end of August 2002.

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