Liberty Financial Companies of Boston announced today that it has agreed to sell Keyport Life Insurance of Boston and Independent Financial Marketing Group ( IFMG) of Purchase, N.Y. to Toronto-based Sun Life Financial Services of Canada for $1.7 billion.

IFMG is a marketer of annuities and mutual funds to over 50 small and mid-sized banks across the United States, while Keyport is a provider of fixed and variable annuities.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2001, according to a statement by Liberty Financial. The company expects to collect net proceeds of approximately $1.47 billion from the sale.

The sale of Keyport and IFMG concludes the initial phase of Liberty Financial’s review of its sale of various business units, which the company announced last November. Liberty Financial also announced today that it is continuing to explore a possible sale of its remaining asset management business and has instructed Credit Suisse First Boston of New York to continue to seek a buyer for that business.

By acquiring Keyport and IFMG, Sun Life Financial has strengthened it position in the variable annuity and mutual fund markets. “This acquisition advances Sun Life Financial toward our strategic goal of reaching a top 10 position in target product markets in North America,” said Donald A. Stewart, chairman and CEO, Sun Life Financial. “Our mutual fund subsidiary, MFS Investment Management Inc., is already a top 10 player in the U.S. mutual fund industry. With the completion of this transaction, Sun Life Financial will move into the ranks of the top 10 competitors in the U.S. variable annuity market as well.”

“ Sun Life Financial’s acquisition of Keyport and IFMG brings together two of America’s premier annuity providers,” said Gary L. Countryman, president and CEO of Liberty Financial in a statement. “Additionally, IFMG and its bank clients will be further advantaged once they will be able to offer Sun Life Financial’s investment products to their bank marketing clients. We at Liberty Financial are proud of what Keyport and IFMG have accomplished, as represented by the value that that Liberty Financial and its shareholders will realize through this sale.”

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