United National Opts for IPO at $16-$18

Property and casualty insurer United National Group Ltd., which is based in the Cayman Islands, reported this week in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it will sell 9.75 million common Class A shares for $16 to $18 each for an initial public offering.

Reportedly, the stock sale has the potential to raise $156 million to $175.5 million. United National said it will use up to $150 million of the net proceeds to redeem all of its outstanding 15 million Series A preferred shares. The remainder of the proceeds could be used for general corporate purposes, which would include the capitalization of non-U.S. operations.

The exact timing of the IPO debut was not known, but it applied for a Nasdaq listing under the symbol UNGL, and the IPO will be handled by Merrill Lynch, Banc of America Securities, Dowling & Partners Securities, Foxx-Pitt Kelton and Keefe, Bruyette & Woods. The underwriters could buy 1.5 million extra shares in case of heavy investor demand.

United has a pair of classes of outstanding common stock. Each A share carries one vote, and each B share includes 10 votes. When the IPO is finalized, the company will have 14 million A shares and 12.7 million B shares outstanding.

United National is a holding company that got its start in August of this year to acquire its U.S. operations. In the U.S., it sells specialty property and casualty insurance, sporting a 43-year history in the specialty insurance markets.

Non-U.S. operations, which include Barbados- and Bermuda-based insurance companies, will likely begin offering insurance and reinsurance products to third parties and reinsurance in the U.S. before long.