Pilgrim America Capital Corp. has closed a $24 million deal to take over the management and distribution of Nicholas-Applegate's retail mutual fund business.

The deal, which closed Friday, brings Phoenix-based Pilgrim an additional $1.6 billion of assets under management, for a total of $7.4 billion. Nicholas-Applegate, which has $33 billion of assets under management, struck the deal to focus on its institutional asset management business, said Rick Shaughnessy, a spokesman.

"Retail mutual fund distribution is a very involved endeavor," he said. "We decided we wanted to focus all of our energies on institutional management and client service."

San Diego-based Nicholas-Applegate will continue to subadvise eight international and growth-oriented funds. Pilgrim America will directly manage two fixed-income funds and one balanced fund.

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