AXA updates market on its US IPO plans

AXA, the French insurance giant, has updated the market on its plans for an initial public offering of a minority stake in its US operations, in a fresh US regulatory filing on Wednesday.

AXA formally announced its intention to go ahead with the IPO on 13 November, with the filing of a registration statement with the SEC. At that time, it stated that the offering was expected to consist of a minority stake in the common stock of AXA Equitable Holdings Inc – as the AXA holding company is now known, and as the soon-to-be-listed company will also be called – and that the IPO would likely take place in the second quarter of 2018.

AXA has said that AXA Equitable Holdings will have more than $600bn of assets under management once it is a separate entity. These will come from two existing channels that it has in the US: AXA Equitable Life and AllianceBernstein, according to the S-1 amended document published yesterday by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

AXA currently has a 64% stake in AllianceBernstein, which is due to be transferred over to AXA Equitable Holdings in the run-up to the IPO, AXA said.

Plans unveiled in May

AXA officially revealed its plans to list a minority stake in its US operations last May, explaining that the decision was intended to “create significant additional financial flexibility to accelerate AXA’s transformation”, in line with its strategic objectives.

It said it was looking to create “a leading, US-based diversified financial institution benefiting from enhanced strategic flexibility, visibility and stronger growth prospects as a listed company”.

Proceeds from the IPO would be reinvested by AXA in “priority segments” of its business, “and/or potentially returned to shareholders, depending on opportunities and market conditions”, it added.

Christopher Copper-Ind
Christopher Copper-Ind is Editor of International Investment.

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