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Policyholders Approve MetLife Plan
to Launch Largest-Ever IPO

Reuters
NEW YORK — Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. got the approval it needed from policyholders on Friday to continue its conversion to a publicly traded company and launch the U.S.'s largest-ever initial public offering.

The company said in a statement that 2.6 million, or 93 percent, of 2.8 million voting policyholders approved the company's plan to drop its policyholder-owned mutual status and list on the New York Stock Exchange.

MetLife now needs only the approval of the New York State Superintendent of Insurance — expected in the next 30-60 days — before it completes its conversion with its record-breaking $6.5 billion IPO planned for late March.

This would make the offering the largest ever seen in the U.S., ahead of United Parcel Service Inc.'s $5.5 billion offering last November.

The U.S. No.2 life insurer, which will be known as MetLife Inc. after the offering, will become the country's most widely held stock after the offering, with an estimated 11 million policyholders receiving shares.

The demutualization follows life insurer John Hancock Financial Services' IPO in late January, and precedes the U.S. No. 1 life insurer Prudential Insurance Co. of America, which has said it plans to demutualize but has not yet announced any firm plans.

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