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Life Health > Life Insurance

SEC Clears MetLife to Complete Brighthouse Spinoff

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The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today provided the last approval MetLife Inc. needs to turn Brighthouse Financial Inc. into a separate company.

MetLife plans to spin Brighthouse off by giving shares of Brighthouse common stock to MetLife shareholders. The SEC has now declared the registration statement for that Brighthouse stock distribution effective.

Managers of Nasdaq gave MetLife another important approval Wednesday, certifying Brighthouse securities for listing on the Nasdaq Stock Market, under the symbol BHF.

(Related: MetLife Gets Board and State Regulator OK for Brighthouse Spinoff)

MetLife, a New York-based company formed in 1869, has common stock that trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol MET.

Brighthouse — a Charlotte, North Carolina-based organization — is inheriting MetLife’s retail life and annuity operations.

MetLife plans to give MetLife shareholders one share of Brighthouse common stock for every 11 shares of MetLife common stock that they own at 5 p.m. EDT July 19.

MetLife will distribute the stock Aug. 4.

MetLife notes that, starting July 17, MetLife common stock will trade without the right for the holder to receive the special Brighthouse common stock distribution. To warn stock traders that they are getting MetLife stock without the right to receive Brighthouse stock, shares will trade, temporarily, under the symbol MET WI.

Brighthouse stock will get a temporary stock symbol, BHFWV, July 17, before the stock officially starts trading on Nasdaq.

MetLife will go back to using the symbol MET, and Brighthouse will start using BHF, Aug. 7, MetLife says.

Brighthouse is on track to begin independent corporate life as one of the biggest life insurance companies in the United States. It has 2.8 million life insurance policies and annuity contracts in force.

If Brighthouse were already a separate company in the first quarter, it would have reported a net loss of $349 million on $965 million in revenue, compared with $407 million in net income on $2.4 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2016.

The net loss was the result of the Brighthouse variable annuity exposure management program, including the impact of rising stock prices on a macro hedge arrangement, MetLife says.

Brighthouse ended the first quarter with $223 billion in assets, including $115 billion in separate account assets.

In December, Brighthouse prepared for life as a separate company by arranging for a $2 billion, five-year revolving credit facility and a $3 billion, three-year term loan agreement from a syndicate of banks.

Background information about the company is available in this SEC filing

— Check out Brighthouse Financial Puts Its Brand on Annuities on ThinkAdvisor.


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