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Lloyds sells German life insurance unit

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August 21, 2013 07:05 AM EST | AP

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LONDON — Lloyds Banking Group says it has sold its German life insurance business to a joint venture owned by Cinven Partners LLP and Hannover Re for 300 million euros ($401 million) as it moves to bolster its balance sheet at home and shed businesses overseas.

The part-nationalized bank says cash from the sale of Heidelberger Lebensversicherung AG will be used for general corporate purposes. British regulators have ordered UK banks to shore up their balance sheets to prevent a repeat of the 2008 banking crisis.

The sale is also in line with Lloyds' efforts to focus on Britain. In 2011, Lloyds was present in 30 countries – this year it was in 11.

Heidelberger Leben, with 7.2 billion ($11.2 billion) in assets, provides pension, investment and insurance products.