Empower Retirement is acquiring Prudential Financial Inc.'s PRU, +2.17% full-service retirement business in a deal valued at $3.55 billion, the companies said Wednesday in a joint release. The deal is expected to add expertise, and an expanded product portfolio to Greenwood Village, Colo.-based Empower's business and drive scale. The business will be bolstered by $2.1 billion of capital through a combination of the balance sheet of the acquired business plus Empower capital and surplus. Prudential's retirement recordkeeping business consists of more than 4,300 workplace savings plans, involving abut 4 million plan participants with $314 billion in assets. The business has more than 1,800 employees. "The acquisition will allow Empower to expand services to the broadening spectrum of workplace savings plans it now serves, which includes mega, large, mid-size and small corporate 401(k) plans; government plans ranging in scale from state-level plans to municipal agencies; not-for-profit 403(b) plans; and collectively bargained Taft-Hartley plans," said the release. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022. Prudential will use proceeds of the deal for general corporate purposes and now expects to return $11 billion to shareholders through 2023, up from the $10.5 billion announced in May. Prudential shares were up 1.5% premarket and have gained 27% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX, +0.82% has gained 15%.