AXA S.A. hopes to sell a minority stake in its U.S. life insurance and asset management operations to the public by June 30, 2018.
Securities analysts are estimating an initial public offering of the Paris-based company’s U.S. operations could raise more than $3 billion for the parent company.
Thomas Buberl, AXA’s chief executive officer, said AXA is organizing the IPO partly because it wants to use the cash it raises to expand health insurance, property-casualty insurance and elder care operations in countries like Thailand and Indonesia, and partly because AXA believes an IPO could be good for the U.S. operations.
The U.S. IPO would give investors a chance to buy a stake in a business that includes a major life and annuity business; the AXA Advisors financial services distribution operation; and control over the AllianceBernstein Holding LP asset management operation.
Getting the U.S. business its own stock listing could help raise the company’s profile in the United States, Buberl said.
Keeping the U.S. business in the U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles framework and under U.S. insurance accounting rules could also be good for the U.S. insurance product mix, Buberl said.
A few years ago, he said, insurance regulators around the world seemed to be interested in harmonizing their insurance solvency standards.
Today, “there’s a clear debate,” Buberl said.
The gap between U.S. standards and Europe’s Solvency II standards creates an interesting regulatory opportunity, Buberl said.