Britain’s Prudential sells U.S. broker-dealer network for $325 million: Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Prudential (PRU.L) sold its broker-dealer network in the United States for $325 million to LPL Financial (LPLA.O), the insurer said on Wednesday.

The purchase price may rise to $448 million subject to some transaction criteria, with the sale, through Prudential subsidiary National Planning Holdings, expected to close by the end of the first quarter 2018.

The network consists of INVEST Financial Corporation, Investment Centers of America, National Planning Corporation and SII Investments.

“While we still very much believe in the independent broker-dealer model, our primary strategy in North America is to focus on being the leading manufacturer of retirement products,” Barry Stowe, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Prudential’s North American Business Unit said.

Last week, Prudential merged its M&G asset management and UK and European insurance businesses to save costs and improve its products.

Prudential said its operating profit rose to 2.36 billion pounds ($3.03 billion) in the first half of the year, boosted by growth in Asia and above a forecast 2.2 billion pounds.