Principal Financial Group Inc., the seller of life insurance and retirement products, agreed to buy a 55% stake in Liongate Capital Management LLP to expand in hedge funds and meet demand for alternative investments.

Liongate, with offices in London and New York, oversees about $2.1 billion for pension funds, insurers and sovereign- wealth funds, Principal said yesterday in a statement. The deal may be completed in the second quarter and add to earnings in the first year, Principal said. Terms weren’t disclosed.

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