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Sun Life to transfer McLean Budden business to unit

Sun Life Financial (SLF-T), Canada's No. 3 insurer, will buy out the minority stake its McLean Budden investment management unit for about $144 million to boost its mutual fund business.

Toronto-based Sun Life, which already owns the majority of McLean Budden, said on Thursday it will buy the remaining 32.4 percent of the firm, which is owned by a group of 55 employees.

The purchase price may rise if certain performance targets are met, Sun Life said.

McLean Budden will become a subsidiary of Sun Life's MFS Investment Management unit, which will have combined assets under management of $261 billion, as calculated on August 31.

Martin Beaulieu, who is currently head of global distribution at MFS, will become chairman and chief executive of McLean Budden, while Roger Beauchemin, currently CEO of the unit, will step down after the deal closes in November.

Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken said in a note that the move was in line with Sun Life's focus on domestic mutual fund capabilities.

"Incremental scale in wealth management product manufacturing is always a positive," he said in a note.

Sun Life has extensive operations in Canada, the United States and Asia. As a seller of insurance and wealth-management products, it competes with Manulife Financial (MFC-T) and Great-West Lifeco (GWO-T).
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