Sun Life Financial has agreed to acquire Assurant’s employee benefits business for US$975 million ($1.29 billion).

The deal will create the sixth-largest group benefits business in the United States.

“The acquisition of the Assurant Employee Benefits business is directly on strategy, accelerating the growth of our U.S. Group Benefits business and expanding the scope of our benefits business in North America,” says Dean Connor, president and CEO of Sun Life.

Read: Sun Life completes Bentall Kennedy acquisition

Upon closing, Sun Life Financial U.S. will provide protection through approximately 64,000 employers in small, medium and large workplaces.

The combined U.S. group benefits business will operate in multiple sites, including Sun Life’s U.S. headquarters in Wellesley, Mass. and Assurant Employee Benefits’ main office in Kansas City, Mo.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of first quarter of 2016, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.

Sun Life has announced a number of deals in 2015. The company completed its $560-million acquisition of Bentall Kennedy this month and purchased both Prime Advisors and Ryan Labs this year.

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