Resolution Life

Lincoln Benefit Life has its offices in downtown Lincoln at 1221 N St.

GWYNETH ROBERTS, Journal Star file photo

Lincoln Benefit Life will soon have a new owner that may resurrect life insurance and annuity sales under the company's name.

Global Bankers Insurance Group of Durham, North Carolina, announced earlier this month that one of its affiliates has a deal in place to purchase the Lincoln-based company from Resolution Life Holdings.

Global Bankers Insurance said it expects the transaction to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approval by the Nebraska Department of Insurance. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In 2013, Resolution Life paid $600 million to buy Lincoln Benefit Life from Allstate Corp., which had owned the company since 1984.

Resolution Life bought the company for its assets, and while it continued to collect premiums and service existing policies, it did not issue any new ones.

The company said it chose to sell the company as part of a consolidation of its insurance operations in the U.S. and Europe.

Neither company could be reached for comment, but in a news release announcing the deal, Global Bankers Insurance hinted that it could start selling insurance and other products under the Lincoln Benefit Life name again.

"Lincoln Benefit Life is our largest acquisition since our inception and we are excited for the future opportunities this transaction brings," Lou Hensley, co-CEO and president of Global Bankers Insurance, said in the news release. "Although the Company has recently been in run-off, Lincoln Benefit Life is a strong brand name that we can leverage for new sales.”

Paul Brown, executive vice president for finance and strategy at Global Bankers Insurance, said in the news release that the company has the "financial strength and stability to grow and expand Lincoln Benefit Life’s existing footprint.”

According to the news release, Lincoln Benefit Life still has about 200,000 policies in force, more than $9.5 billion in policy reserves and $572.4 million in capital and surplus.

The companies said that Lincoln Benefit Life's existing operations in Lincoln and Rosemont, Illinois, will continue as is to provide "continuity and consistency to all stakeholders."

Reach the writer at 402-473-2647 or molberding@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LincolnBizBuzz.

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Matt Olberding is a Lincoln native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been covering business for the Journal Star since 2005.

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