Guardian Life Insurance Co. of America announced on Friday it will purchase a 10 percent interest in Beverly Hills-based Kennedy Wilson, a real estate investment firm.

"This new capital allows our company to take maximum advantage of the current opportunities in all sectors of the real estate investment, distressed debt, and services businesses," William McMorrow, Kennedy Wilson's chairman, said in a statement.

Kennedy Wilson's management retaining 54 percent ownership. The deal calls for New York-based Guardian to purchase $30 million of convertible subordinated debt in Kennedy Wilson.

Earlier this year Kennedy Wilson raised $53 million in new equity through the issuance of convertible preferred shares. Among those investing then were the LeFrak Organization, a New York real estate investment company, and Royce Funds, also based in New York.

"Selecting Kennedy Wilson as Guardian's newest business relationship reflects our assessment of their strong record as a successful investor in the real estate investment field, Guardian Chief Investment Officer Tom Sorell said in a statement.

Kennedy Wilson shares were unchanged at $39 Friday on the over-the-counter Pink Sheets.

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