Life insurance and pensions group Aegon has signed an agreement to acquire a 50% interest in Mongeral Seguros e Previdencia, a Brazilian life insurer.

Aegon believes that this strategic joint venture will strengthen its presence in Latin America, identified by the group as a strategic market given its potential for growth. Aegon’s partnership with Mongeral is part of a strategy designed to expand the group’s international presence and target more of its financial resources toward businesses that offer attractive growth and higher returns, said Aegon.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2009, subject to approval from Brazil’s regulatory authorities.

Alex Wynaendts, CEO of Aegon, said: Brazil is the largest market for life insurance in Latin America. This step strengthens our position in this growth region and enables us to extend Aegon’s financial strength and expertise for the benefit of a broad customer base.