CHICAGO -- Conseco Inc. and Kemper Corp. late Sunday signed a merger agreement that may lead to Conseco's paying $3.25 billion for the financial services company, which includes Kemper Securities Inc.

Under the agreement; which was announced yesterday, Kemper's board of directors can terminate the deal and accept a proposal by another party before July 6 upon payment of $25 million and out-of-pocket expenses to Conseco. After July 6, if Kemper receives a bid from another party, the firm can cancel the agreement upon paying $100 million, plus out-of-pocket expenses to Conseco.

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