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Specialist insurer LCCG buys UK insurer Equitable Life

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Specialist insurer LCCG buys UK insurer Equitable Life

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LONDON (Reuters) - Specialist insurer Life Company Consolidation Group (LCCG) is buying Britain's oldest mutual life insurance company Equitable Life, it said on Friday.

Equitable Life, established in 1762, has more than 300,000 policyholders and manages assets of 6.3 billion pounds (6.3 billion pounds), but closed to new customers in 2000.

Its business will transfer to LCCG's Reliance Life subsidiary, with the deal due to complete by the end of 2019, LCCG said in a statement. It did not disclose the price.

Reliance Life specialises in life insurance businesses closed to new policyholders.

Specialist providers say they can run pensions and life policies at a lower cost by using economies of scale, investing more astutely and using actuarial expertise to match assets more closely to liabilities - and thereby reduce risk.

Standard Life Aberdeen <SLA.L> sold its insurance business earlier this year to closed-life specialist Phoenix <PHNX.L> for 3.24 billion pounds.

"A lot of the really big players are pulling out, so I think there is a lot of mileage in it yet," Paul Thompson, CEO of LCCG told Reuters, adding the firm was planning more acquisitions.

LCCG, which bought its first UK life business last year, has operations in Britain, Ireland and the Isle of Man and policyholder assets of over 30 billion pounds.

It is backed by funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management.

(Reporting by Carolyn Cohn; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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