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A big announcement was made Friday for West Des Moines-based AVIVA USA and the 1,400 people who work there.

Athene Holding Ltd., a Bermuda-based insurance holding company announced Friday that it will purchase Aviva USA for $1.55 billion. Aviva USA handles annuity and life insurance operations.

Athene says it is committed to keeping Aviva’s headquarters in West Des Moines and a significant employee base there. Aviva USA will be re-named Athene USA.

The deal expected to close in 2013. The company has been for sale since last spring.

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