Policyholders Approve MetLife Plan to Launch Largest-Ever IPO
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.