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Liberty Mutual delays unit's $1.2B IPO

Wed, 09/29/2010 - 10:05am
The Associated Press

The insurer Liberty Mutual said that it is delaying the initial public offering of a subsidiary that could have been the largest U.S. IPO of the year.

Liberty Mutual Group Inc., based in Boston, cited the weak economy, volatile stock market and "undervalued" prices for stocks of property and casualty insurers for the delay.

It said it has been unable to price shares of its Liberty Mutual Agency Corp. as high as it would like.

Liberty Mutual had planned to sell 64.3 million shares for $18 to $20 apiece. That would have raised about $1.2 billion in the middle of that range. The biggest IPO in the U.S. so far this year was interactive white board maker SMART Technologies Inc., which raised $660.1 million in July.

Nearly half the companies going public in 2010 have priced IPO shares below expected ranges.

Liberty Mutual Agency is the 10th largest writer of property and casualty insurance in the country, the company said.

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