Rothesay buys 6 billion pound Scottish Widows bulk annuities from Lloyds

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Lloyds Bank logo and rising stock graph

(Reuters) - Pension insurance specialist Rothesay has agreed to buy the about 6 billion pound ($7.67 billion) Scottish Widows in force bulk annuity portfolio from Lloyds Banking Group, the companies said on Wednesday.

The bulk annuity deal covers the pension benefits of about 42,000 people and marks its sixth acquisition of annuities, Rothesay said in a statement.

"This sale will enable us to focus and invest in the insurance, pensions, investments, retirement and protection markets where we want to grow," said Chira Barua, CEO of Scottish Widows and of insurance, pensions and investments at Lloyds.

Bulk annuities, which have grown in popularity in the UK among pension scheme trustees, are a form of insurance whereby a company's pension plan offloads liabilities to an insurer.

Consultants expect the UK bulk annuity market to hit record levels of more than 50 billion pounds this year.

($1 = 0.7824 pounds)

(Reporting by Yadarisa Shabong in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)