Bermuda-based Axis Capital Holdings Ltd. successfully completed the initial public offering of its shares yesterday, as they rose more than 16 percent above the opening quote on the New York Stock Exchange, from $22 to close at $25.55. At one time the shares were trading above $26.
The 21.5 million shares covered by the IPO also includes 8.1 million shares sold by the insurer’s founding investors, Marsh Mac’s Trident II Investment fund, J.P. Morgan Chase, the Blackstone Group, Thomas H. Lee and Partners and others. Their original investment was valued at around $12.50 a share.
Axis is one of the largest of the new Bermuda companies formed after Sept. 11 to fill the void in the insurance and reinsurance capacity caused by the losses from the WTC attacks. Its initial capitalization was $1.6 billion, and it’s used it very well, writing $1.1 billion in premium in 2002, its first full year of operation, and netting $265.1 million. It expanded on this in the first quarter of 2003, posting net income of $107.1 million on gross premiums written of $608.6 million.
The company is already a global insurer with offices in the U.S. and Europe. It also launched a new web site – www.axiscapital.com – to coincide with the IPO, which details the company’s products and personnel.
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