Dutch insurance group Aegon has agreed to sell its UK Guardian life and pension unit to private equity group Cinven for GBP275m.

Guardian manages more than 300,000 UK life insurance policies but has been closed to new business for a decade. It generated GBP23m in underlying pre-tax earnings in 2010, and had embedded value of GBP322m and book value of GBP271m in June.

Based in England, Guardian employs approximately 170 people, and most will be transferred to Cinven on completion of the deal.

Aegon Asset Management has entered into a long-term agreement with Cinven and will continue to manage the assets of Guardian, which total GBP7.4bn.

Aegon CFO Jan Nooitgedagt said consistent with actions over the past three years to dispose of, or run-off, certain businesses deemed non-core, AEGON has concluded that managing the closed business of Guardian companies no longer fits with the strategic objectives.

The sale is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.