BOSTON - CDC Asset Management of Paris has agreed to buy the asset management firms Nvest LP and Nvest Cos. for $2.2 billion in cash and debt, Nvest said Friday.

CDC, the investment arm of Caisse des Depots Group, would acquire all outstanding units of the investment groups for $40 a unit. That would include a 48% stake held by MetLife Inc.

The deal, which is expected to close by yearend, needs regulatory and shareholder approval.

Nvest, which had $134 billion of assets under management at March 31, is to be renamed CDC Asset Management North America, but its operating affiliates would retain their brand names and stay independent. Nvest chief executive Peter S. Voss would remain chief executive officer.

CDC, which manages $170 billion of assets, has subsidiaries in Frankfurt, Tokyo, and Singapore.

MetLife acquired its stake in Nvest when it merged with New England Financial in 1996. In a statement, Mr. Voss said that his company would continue to provide investment services for MetLife.

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