RPT-Dai-ichi Life in advanced talks to buy Protective Life-source

Sun Jun 1, 2014 7:14pm EDT

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TOKYO, June 2 (Reuters) - Japan's Dai-ichi Life Co is in advanced talks to buy Protective Life Corp of the United States, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, in what would be the biggest acquisition by a Japanese insurer.

Protective Life has a market capitalisation of $4 billion. Nikkei business daily, which first reported the talks, said a deal would likely top 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion).

Dai-ichi Life, Japan's second-largest private-sector life insurer by premium revenue, has been actively buying overseas assets. Its senior executives have said it has been looking for acquisition opportunities in the United States.

A Dai-ichi Life spokesman declined to comment.

($1 = 101.7450 Japanese Yen) (Reporting by Taiga Uranaka; Editing by Richard Pullin)