AXA Group announced that its offer to buy out the minority shareholders of its U.S. subsidiary AXA Financial had been accepted following the unanimous recommendation of a special committee of independent directors in favor of the deal.
First announced at the end of August, at the same time as AXA agreed to sell its majority stake in investment bank Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (DLJ) to Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), the acquisition of the minority shares gives the French Group 100 percent control of its U.S. operations which includes AXA Advisors, Equitable Life, Alliance Capital Management and the recently acquired mutual fund manager Sanford C. Bernstein.
The final terms call for $35.75 per share in cash plus 0.295 American Depository Shares (ADS) for each AXA Financial share. The total, based on Tuesday’s closing price, corresponds to $54.63 per share, slightly higher than the $53.50 originally proposed.
The acquisition didn’t come cheap. It represents a premium of 24.3 percent over the 30 day average price of AXA Financial shares prior to the August announcement, and will cost AXA a total of $9.4 billion, if all the shares are tendered.
The acquisition is conditioned upon regulatory approvals and the completion of the sale of DLJ to CFSB.
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