Confirming the rumors circulating around Wall Street, AXA Financial, Inc. (AXF), the U.S. holding company 60 percent owned by French insurer AXA Group, announced that it will sell its 71 percent stake in investment banker and broker Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette to Credit Suisse First Boston on the terms previously announced.
The Boards of Directors of all three companies have already approved the transaction and it is expected to close in the fourth quarter, subject to regulatory approvals. Upon completion of the transaction AXF would have $496 billion under management, more than half of the AXA Group’s $900 billion worldwide.
In a related announcement AXF, which controls Equitable Life, AXA Advisors, Equitable Distributors, Alliance Capital Management, also revealed that it had received a bid from AXA Group for the remaining 40 percent of shares it doesn’t already own. AXA is offering a package of 60 percent cash and 40 percent in shares of its stock.
Based on the most recent closing price of AXA’s ADR’s on the NYSE ($79), minority shareholders would receive approximately $53.50 per share. AXF shares closed at $52.25 Tuesday night, a 52-week high. Independent members of AXA Financial’s Board of Directors will evaluate the offer, and have appointed Wasserstein Perella & Co. as advisors. If the board members recommend approval, it would need to pass legal review and be approved by the minority shareholders.
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