Voya Rises on Clearance to Sell Unit, Plan for $150M Buyback

Voya traded higher after receiving regulatory clearance to sell a division and saying that it entered an accelerated-buyback accord.
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Voya Financial  (VOYA) - Get Report rose Thursday after the New York financial-services group received regulatory clearances to complete the sale of its individual-life and nonretirement legacy annuities business to Resolution Life.

And the company also said it entered an accelerated share-buyback agreement.

The deal, unveiled a year ago and valued at $1.25 billion, is expected to close on Jan. 4. After the closing, Voya Financial will also hold a $225 million stake in Resolution Life.

Shares of Voya at last check rose 0.6% to $57.31.

Voya and Resolution Life have completed the operational and financial requirements needed to close the deal, Voya Chairman and Chief Executive Rodney O. Martin Jr. said in a statement.

Resolution Life, London, has 11.5 million policyholders and manages $320 billion of assets.

Separately, Voya, with retirement, investment and insurance businesses, also approved an accelerated buyback valued at $150 million. 

"This will enable us to continue to build upon the approximately $6.4 billion of capital that we have already returned to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends since our initial public offering," Martin said.

Voya, formerly ING Group's U.S. operations, went public in 2013.

Voya Financial did not identify the financial institution it has partnered with on the buyback. 

But the company said that the initial delivery of shares would occur in this quarter and the final settlement would come in first-quarter 2021.

"We plan to provide more information on our capital-management plans during our fourth-quarter and full-year 2020 earnings call in February,” added Martin.