Liberty Mutual Files $1.2B IPO

Liberty Mutual has filed paperwork with the Securities Exchange Commission to take its agency public.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Liberty Mutual

has filed paperwork with the

Securities Exchange Commission

to take its agency public. The

S-1 filing

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

The Street

. "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

(ALL) - Get Report

and Travelers

(TRV) - Get Report

, 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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