French insurance provider, AXA said it plans to list its operations in the US on a stock exchange yet to be named. AXA is a majority owner of AXA Mansard in Nigeria with 77% stake.
The plan will see the insurance group going on an initial public offering, IPO. The company said in a statement that proceeds from the IPO will be reinvested by AXA in priority segments and/or potentially returned to shareholders, depending on opportunities and market conditions.
AXA said it will list a minority stake of AXA’s US operations. The stake will consist of the company’s US Life & Savings business and AXA Group’s interest in AB in 1H18.
Chief Executive of the group, Thomas Buberl said:
“The decision to prepare for a listing of our US operations is a key step towards our 2020 objectives: we believe the current environment is supportive of this strategic initiative which would create significant additional financial flexibility to accelerate the transformation of the AXA Group around Health, Capital-light Savings, Protection and P&C commercial lines, our priority lines of business”.
“At the same time, we are convinced our US operations would be better positioned as a listed company in the US, operating on a level playing field under local regulatory rules, and would benefit from greater strategic flexibility to deliver sustainable and profitable growth”.
Mark Pearson, CEO of AXA US added that “We very much appreciate the continued guidance and responsiveness of AXA Equitable’s US regulator, the New York Department of Financial Services. DFS has been a strong and fair supervisor of AXA Equitable, which will remain a New York domiciled insurer, and we look forward to the Department’s ongoing leadership and oversight”.
The details are still sketchy and are subject to market conditions. The core of its business in the US is the life insurance and annuity company. The company said it has about 2.5 million customers, and owns an interest of approximately 64% in AB, asset manager with USD 498 billion in Assets under Management as at 31 March 2017.
The IPO is crucial to its survival in the US as the company already has about USd1 billion debt on its neck which plans to convert into equity.