MetLife Inc, the largest U.S. life insurer, said Monday that it would divest its 52 percent stake in Reinsurance Group of America Inc .
Under the multi-step transaction, MetLife said Reinsurance Group would recapitalize its common stock into two classes. Substantially all of MetLife’s interest in the company would be exchanged for Reinsurance Group Class B common stock.
Immediately after this recapitalization, MetLife plans a tax-free split-off. Its stockholders could exchange their MetLife shares for Reinsurance Group Class B common stock.
MetLife said the transaction would strengthen each company’s ability to expand its core business.
RGA said it believed the transaction would significantly increase the liquidity and public holding of its common stock by nearly doubling the number of shares held by public investors, and would give management greater flexibility in managing the business.
MetLife said it expected to complete the recapitalization and split-off transaction in the third quarter, subject to certain shareholder and regulatory approvals.
Following the transaction, RGA said it expected its board to consider a recapitalization into a single-class structure from the dual-class structure.
MetLife shares were down 71 cents, or 1.2 percent, at $59.32 in morning New York Stock Exchange trade, while RGA fell 41 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $51.01.
(Reporting by Jessica Hall, editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Lisa Von Ahn)
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