Sun Life Financial announced plans Wednesday to purchase the employee benefits business of Assurant, Inc. for $975 million. The company said in a statement that the acquisition will make Sun Life the sixth largest group benefits business in the U.S. Other major players in the market include Cigna, Aetna, MetLife, Unum Corp. and Prudential Financial.  

The acquisition is projected to increase the value of Sun Life's portfolio of policies by 50 percent, upping it to an estimated $4 billion. The deal will also result in Sun Life providing insurance through 64,000 employers.  

The company is touting the acquisition as adding valuable assets to its range of insurance products. In particular, it noted the addition of Assurant's dental business, the second-largest proprietary network in the country.  

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