Swiss Re Ltd., the world’s second- largest reinsurer, agreed to buy an 11 percent stake in Sul America SA from ING Groep NV to expand in Brazil.

The reinsurer will also purchase a 3.8 percent holding in Rio de Janeiro-based Sul America from members of the Larragoiti family for a combined total of about $334 million, according to a statement yesterday from the Zurich-based company.

“Sul America is a well-established and successful multiline insurer in Brazil where we see attractive growth opportunities,” Swiss Re Chief Executive Officer Michel Lies said in the statement.

The reinsurer has been looking to expand in high-growth markets such as China, India and Brazil. In October, Lies agreed to invest as much as $425 million in Richard Li’s FWD Group. The deal announced yesterday will give the reinsurer a stake in Brazil’s largest independent insurance group. Sul America offers property, casualty and life insurance, as well as pension and asset-management products.

The transaction also helps ING unwind a joint venture formed in 2002. Earlier this year, the Amsterdam-based company agreed to sell a 7 percent stake to the Larragoiti family. Proceeds will be used to pay down debt, ING said in a separate statement yesterday.

–Editors: Dan Kraut, Pierre Paulden