AXA Equitable Holdings Inc., encompassing the American operations for French insurance giant AXA SA, fell almost $1 billion short of the top of its target range in what was still the biggest U.S. initial public offering of the year.
AXA Equitable Holdings raised $2.75 billion, selling 137.25 million shares for $20 each. That was short of its targeted range of $24 to $27 apiece. The proceeds from the listing will help its French parent company fund its biggest-ever acquisition: a $15.3 billion takeover of XL Group Ltd.
The deal tops the two biggest U.S. listings this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pagseguro Digital Ltd. sold $2.6 billion in stock in January and iQiyi Inc. sold $2.4 billion in March. The world’s only bigger IPO this year was Siemens Healthineers AG’s March offering in Frankfurt, which raised 4.04 billion euros ($4.8 billion).
AXA Equitable Holdings includes AXA’s U.S. Life & Savings unit and a 64% stake in money manager AllianceBernstein Holding LP. AXA’s U.S. business was the third-largest seller of variable annuities in the U.S. last year, according to LIMRA.
The company posted revenue of $12.5 billion last year, up 5% from 2016. Its net income was $1.3 billion in 2017, down 24% from the previous year.
Shares of AXA Equitable Holdings are set to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EQH. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays PLC and Citigroup Inc. are leading the offering.
—With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky.