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UPDATE 1-Hartford to buy Aetna U.S. life and disability unit for $1.45 bln

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Oct 23 (Reuters) - Property and casualty insurer Hartford Financial said it would buy health insurer Aetna Inc's U.S. group life and disability unit for $1.45 billion in cash to boost its insurance portfolio and build out its digital technology platform.

Aetna's group life and disability insurance unit had premiums of about $2 billion in 2016.

Hartford will get access to Aetna's digital assets, including an integrated absence management platform, the company said on Monday.

Aetna will use the proceeds of the sale to enhance the company's customer experience, share repurchases and repayment of debt, among others.

The deal, which is expected to close in early November, will add to Hartford's earnings in 2018, the company said. (Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar and Martina D'Couto)