Prudential goes public, raises upwards of $3 billion

Prudential Financial, the publicly traded successor to Prudential Insurance Co. of America, made its Wall Street debut on Dec. 13, 2001, after an initial public offering (IPO) that raised more than $3 billion.

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In the largest IPO since Sept. 11, and the third largest of the year, Prudential sold 110 million shares of stock at $27.50 per share — in the middle of the $25 to $30 anticipated range — to raise $3.025 billion.

The close of the Prudential IPO marks the completion of the insurance giant's transition from a policyholder-owned mutual company to a publicly traded stock company, in a process known as demutualization.

Prudential's stock instantly became one of the most widely held in America because almost 11 million Prudential policyholders elected to receive stock to compensate them for their loss of ownership in "The Rock" — a total of 456 million shares.

The stock began trading Dec. 13, 2001, under the New York Stock Exchange symbol PRU at $29.10, up 6 percent from the IPO price.

The Prudential IPO is the largest insurance demutualization ever, coming on the heels of the Principal Financial Group's $1.8 billion IPO on Oct. 23, 2001, and clearing the previous record held by MetLife's April 2000 IPO that raised $2.9 billion.

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