TORONTO -Manulife Financial Corp. has agreed to acquire Commercial Union's Canadian life insurance business from the British insurance group CGNU PLC.

Manulife is to buy more than $960 million of insurance assets and more than $70 million in segregated fund assets. Buying Commercial Union's critical-illness portfolio would make Manulife the leading player in the Canadian critical-illness insurance market.

The agreement was announced Dec. 22. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the first quarter.

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