California's insurance commissioner yesterday announced a "comprehensive" agreement in principle to sell Executive Life Insurance Co., but the plan ignores the $1.93 billion of debt tied up in municipal guaranteed investment contracts.

Commissioner John Garamendi succeeded in getting a group of French and Swiss concerns to sign an agreement that would divvy up the failed life insurance company: Six French and one Swiss firm would put up $300 million of capital and take over most policies, while another French firm -- Credit Lyonnais's Altus Finance -- would buy most of the company's junk bond portfolio for $2.7 billion.

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