Axa Equitable Slips in Early Trading After U.S. IPO Fell Short

(Bloomberg) -- Axa Equitable Holdings Inc. slipped in the first minutes of U.S. trading after its initial public offering fell almost $1 billion shy of the targeted share sale.

The stock fell 1.4 percent to $19.74 at 10:39 a.m. in New York. Axa Equitable Holdings, which includes the U.S. operations of French insurance giant Axa SA, raised $2.75 billion, selling 137.25 million shares for $20 each. While that was below the targeted share price range of $24 to $27, the deal was still the biggest the biggest U.S. IPO of the year.

Axa Equitable Holdings includes Axa’s U.S. Life & Savings unit and a 64 percent 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 industry group Limra. 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.

Shares of Axa Equitable Holdings are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol EQH. Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Barclays Plc and Citigroup Inc. led the offering.

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