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Protective Life Agrees To Acquire Torchmark Unit For $316 Million

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Protective Life Corp. (PL) agreed to acquire United Investors Life Insurance Co. from Torchmark Corp. (TMK) for $316 million. However, Protective Life will pay just $260 million owing to the target's excess capital of about $56 million. The deal is valued at a total $648 million to Torchmark unit Liberty National Life Insurance Co. as it also includes about $332 million of preclosing distributions from United Investors to Liberty. Protective Chairman and Chief Executive John D. Johns said the acquisition of United Investors, which sells life insurance and annuity products, adds to its experience in acquiring closed blocks of business and is consistent with plans to grow through acquisitions. Closed-block businesses are those in which new policies aren't issued. Torchmark Chairman and Chief Executive Mark S. McAndrew said, "We are very pleased to announce this agreement. While United Investors has been a valuable asset, its primary operations involve lines of business that we no longer emphasize." Protective Life expects the acquisition to add 15 cents to 20 cents a share to earnings next year; analysts' average estimate is $2.89 a share, according to Thomson Reuters. Protective Life last month reported second-quarter earnings fell 54% on investment losses and write-downs, though sales rose across its business segments. Protective and Torchmark shares closed Monday at $21.08 and $53.73. Neither were active premarket. -By Tess Stynes, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2481;

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