Legal & General Group is to sell Suffolk Life, a UK provider and administrator of self-invested personal pensions (SIPPs), to Curtis Banks Group for £45m ($64.6m).

The acquisition is subject to an underwritten placing by Curtis Banks Group and regulatory approval, both of which are expected in the first half of 2016.

Legal & General said it is disposing of non-core businesses, and focusing on core activities where it believes it can achieve significant scale and attractive returns on capital. For example, it disposed of Legal & General France, Legal & General Ireland and Egypt in 2015.

Mark Gregory, group chief finance officer, at Legal & General, said: "Legal & General is delighted to have played a part in the success of Suffolk Life. It is a great business, but it is not core to our focused strategy going forward. Teaming up with Curtis Banks will help it to realise its strong potential, by creating one of the UK’s largest SIPP providers."

Suffolk Life specialises in SIPPs, and administers around 26,500 plans, including 3,600 commercial properties.

Assets under administration were £8.7bn as at 30 November 2015. The business was established in 1971 and is based in Ipswich.