Buffett-backed Symetra IPO trades above IPO price
NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. life insurer Symetra Financial Corp (SYA.N) opened 5.8 percent above its initial public offering price on Friday and was up as much as 9.2 percent in early trades on the New York Stock Exchange.
Symetra, which counts Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) as one of its investors, sells group health, retirement and life insurance, and employee benefits.
The company on Thursday sold 30.4 million shares for $12 each, raising about $364.8 million. It originally planned to sell 27 million shares for between $12 and $14 each.
This is the second time Symetra has tried to go public. It first filed for an IPO in 2007, but pulled the deal in October 2008 during the worst of the financial crisis.
This time, it cut the size of the deal -- both from its 2007 filing, and again, in October. Majority investors Berkshire and White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd (WTM.N) also said they would not sell any shares.
In the initial 2007 filings, both Berkshire and White Mountains had planned to reduce their respective 26.3 percent stakes in Symetra to 15.2 percent.
Symetra expects net proceeds from the IPO of about $208.8 million. It said in a regulatory filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its board of directors has not yet determined how it will use the proceeds, but said they would likely go to general corporate purposes including contributions of capital to its insurance and other subsidiaries.
Symetra reported revenue of $1.3 billion in the nine months that ended September 30, up from $1.1 billion in the year-earlier period. The company reported net income of $96.2 million, up from $27 million.
Joint book-runners for the offering are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs & Co and Barclays Capital. They have the option to purchase an additional 4.05 million shares.
Shares in the Bellevue, Washington-based company opened at $12.70 and traded as high as $13.11.