NEW YORK (
has filed paperwork with the
Securities Exchange Commission
to take its agency public. The
says the insurer plans to sell over 64 million shares at $18 and $20 per share.
"This will be the biggest IPO of the year," Scott Sweet, senior managing partner at IPO Boutique told
. "This is a good move for Liberty Mutual."
Liberty Mutual's agency is made up of independent agents and brokers that distribute the property and casualty insurer's products. Shareholders will own about 20% of the company under the IPO and Liberty Mutual would retain an 80% stake in the company.
Liberty Mutual Agency would file on the Nasdaq under the symbol "LMAC." The IPO could bring in $1.17 billion for the insurer that would be used to pay down debt, including $130 million from its acquisition of 2007 purchase of insurer Ohio Casualty.
This IPO will essentially differentiate Liberty Mutual from other public and private insurers such as Allstate
, said Sweet.
"If it goes off -- and based on the interest I believe it will -- this will be a success," Sweet said. "Liberty Mutual is also likely to use the money to make acretive acquisitions, especially of hard hit companies."
--Written by Maria Woehr in New York.
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