Aegon Expects $290 Million in Writedowns From U.S. Restructuring

Aegon NV, the Dutch owner of Transamerica Corp., said it expects writedowns of about $290 million as it closes some of its U.S. operations and cuts its workforce in the country by about 5 percent.

Aegon’s plan to discontinue some types of life insurance paid for by employers in the U.S. may result in a goodwill writedown of $210 million, the Hague-based firm said in a statement late yesterday. Cutting 400 to 500 jobs in the country over the next two years will probably lead to a restructuring charge of about $80 million, according to the company.

The Dutch insurer is seeking to reduce its reliance on the U.S. by expanding in faster-growing markets such as China and India. Aegon has said it’s considering selling its Transamerica Reinsurance unit and that it’s cutting costs at its U.K. life and pension operations to boost return on capital.

“Key to Aegon’s long-term strategy is the need to focus on our core activities and identify ways to better leverage resources and capture efficiencies, as evidenced by our decision to consolidate operations,” Mark Mullin, chief executive officer of Aegon Americas, said in the statement.

The restructuring in the U.S. is expected to result in annual savings of about $70 million, according to Aegon.

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