LONDON — Having failed to find a buyer, the Equitable Life Assurance Co. — one of the oldest member-owned insurance companies — said Friday that it will stop writing new business.

The 238-year old Equitable company was forced to put itself on the block in the summer after losing a protracted legal battle over member distributions in Britain, which left the insurer with a bill of about $2.2 billion.

Though several companies reportedly expressed interest, including General Electric, six months later there were no takers. Equitable will now reportedly sell the business in pieces.

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