Canada's Sun Life Financial (NYSE:SLF) has reached agreement to sell its U.S. annuity unit and selected life insurance businesses, the company announced in an official statement. The buyer is Delaware Life Holdings, an insurance company owned by shareholders of Guggenheim Partners, and the price is $1.35 billion.

Delaware Life Holdings will be renamed Delaware Life Insurance following the transaction.

Sun Life anticipates that the sale will cut its total book value by around $950 million when it closes. It expects the deal to be completed by the end of Q2 2013, pending regulatory approval by the relevant authorities.

The company's statement quoted CEO Dean Connor as saying the sale "significantly advances our strategy of reducing Sun Life's risk profile and earnings volatility, focuses our U.S. operations on our areas of greatest strength and opportunity, and crystallizes future earnings and capital releases that will further support our growth and shareholder value creation."

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