General Electric ( GE), still smarting from a big reserve charged to its reinsurance unit last year, took steps to further limit its exposure in insurance by agreeing to sell a Japanese life insurance unit and two domestic segments to AIG ( AIG) for about $2.15 billion.

The conglomerate reached a definitive agreement to sell Tokyo-based GE Edison Life Insurance Co., along with its auto and home business in the U.S., to AIG and will record a special dividend of about $440 million before the deal closes in about 90 days.

"Given our desire to sharpen our focus and the likelihood of a consolidating market in Japan, we determined that the proposed sale of GE Edison Life is the best path for continuing its growth," GE said in a statement. GE founded the Edison unit in Japan five years ago.

GE suffered its worst quarterly profit decrease in almost a decade in the fourth quarter because of a $1.4 billion charge it took to shore up its Employers Reinsurance unit. The company said last week it expects to hit its second-quarter and full-year earnings forecasts.

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