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Protective Life to buy MONY Life for $1.06 billion

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Shares of Protective Life Corp. climbed Thursday, after the financial services company said it plans to spend $1.06 billion to acquire MONY Life Insurance Co. from the French insurance company AXA SA.

Protective, based in Birmingham, Ala., said Wednesday after markets closed that the deal price includes a $303 million surplus currently on MONY Life's books. Protective also will reinsure some MONY Life Insurance Co. of America policies.

Protective said MONY Life's business is comprised mostly of life insurance policies written before 2004 and should produce steady and predictable earnings. If the deal closes by Oct 1, Protective expects it to contribute between 10 cents and 15 cents to its earnings this year and 55 cents to 65 cents per share next year, not counting the costs of combining the businesses.

Protective's business includes life insurance and annuities. The company's shares climbed $1.03, or 2.9 percent, to $36.62 in midday trading, after earlier hitting $36.65, its highest point since August 2008. The stock had already climbed, by Wednesday, about 25 percent so far this year.