Torchmark Bids for American General

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Torchmark Bids for American General HOUSTON - American General Corp. said Wednesday it received an unsolicited $6.34 billion cash and stock buyout offer from another insurance and financial services firm, Torchmark Corp.

The Birmingham, Ala.-based Torchmark offered to buy about half of American General's 126.7 million outstanding shares of common stock for $50 per share, and would exchange $50 worth of Torchmark common stock for each of the remaining shares.

Torchmark said all aspects of the offer were negotiable, including the possibility of an all-cash deal.

American General, a Houston-based company with subsidiaries in 50 states and Canada, was non-committal, saying it was examining the proposal. The bid would be discussed at the board's next regular meeting May 2, Harold S. Hook, American General's chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

Wall Street reacted positively to the news. American General's stock was up $8 to $40 a share in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Torchmark, meanwhile, was off $1.50 to $46.50 a share.

At the end of 1989, American General's total assets were $32.1 billion and common shareholders' equity was $4.1 billion.

Torchmark reported total assets at Dec. 31 of $4.9 billion and common shareholders' equity of $795 million. At Dec. 31, it had 52.9 million shares outstanding.

Thomson McKinnon Unit Files for Chapter 11 NEW YORK - Thomson McKinnon Inc.'s brokerage unit filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy court protection Wednesday to wind up its liquidation eight months after selling most of its operations.

The filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court freezes pending legal action against the collapsed Wall Street firm and places other contentious issues in liquidating the firm under the auspices of a federal judge.

Thomson McKinnon Securities Inc. listed $89 million in assets and $139 million in liabilities in its U.S. Bankruptcy Court filing that seeks protection from creditors. The firm said the filing was ``long anticipated.''

Thomson McKinnon, a 105-year-old firm that had been seeking a buyer since the 1987 stock market crash, last July sold its retail brokerage offices and customer accounts to Prudential-Bache Securities Corp. for about $60 million.

That deal followed the collapse of a proposed merger of the two firms that would have created one of the largest firms on Wall Street. Thomson had been the nation's ninth largest brokerage.

Thomson McKinnon stopped doing business in July. Since then it has sold its seats on the nation's stock and commodity exchanges but still needs to liquidate part of its securities portfolio and other assets.

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