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CNA Financial to sell subsidiary for about $615M

Insurer CNA Financial Corp. plans to sell a wholly owned life insurance subsidiary to Wilton Re Holdings Ltd. for about $615 million as it continues to focus more on its property and casualty business.

The Chicago company said Monday that the subsidiary it plans to sell consists mainly of structured settlement and group annuities. It also will enter into a reinsurance agreement with Wilton Re regarding some runoff structured settlement annuities.

CNA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Motamed said in a statement the deal was “another step in the execution of our strategy to create a more focused P&C business capable of delivering consistent performance.”

CNA expects to record an after-tax charge of about $220 million in the first quarter from the deal.

The insurer also said Monday it earned $221 million, or 82 cents per share, in the fourth quarter. That compares to a loss of $9 million, or 3 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2012. Results from the most recent quarter included a $123 million after-tax charge related to some retroactive reinsurance accounting.

Improved underwriting results, including lower catastrophe losses, helped net operating income for CNA’s property and casualty operations jump to $340 million in the quarter from $60 million. Premiums from its property and casualty operations climbed nearly 5 percent to $1.68 billion in the quarter.



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