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Voya completes annuity biz sale; Athene closes related reinsurance agreement

Voya Financial Inc. has completed the sale of its Voya Insurance and Annuity Co. unit and divested substantially all of its variable, fixed and fixed indexed annuities to an investor group led by Apollo Global Management LLC, Crestview Partners LP and Reverence Capital Partners LP.

Voya's variable, fixed and fixed indexed annuities were acquired by Venerable Holdings Inc., a newly formed investment vehicle owned by the investor group. As part of the deal, Voya Investment Management will serve as the preferred asset management partner of Venerable. It will also, for a minimum of five years, manage general accounts of Venerable.

Voya Chairman and CEO Rodney Martin Jr. said in a statement that, as a result of the deal's closing, the company plans to deploy an additional $500 million of capital toward stock buybacks in the second half of the year.

In a related transaction, Athene Holding Ltd. closed its agreement to reinsure about $19 billion of Voya's fixed and fixed indexed annuities that will be administered by Venerable.