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Phoenix Home Life set to launch IPO

Phoenix Home Life Mutual Insurance Co. has received its final regulatory approval and is now set to launch its initial public offering (IPO), signaling the end to its demutualization process.

Phoenix is following in the footsteps of other mutual insurance companies that recently elected to go public.

With approval from the New York State Superintendent of Insurance, Phoenix is poised to become a publicly traded company in mid-2001, says Jon Sandberg, Phoenix spokesperson. Phoenix is currently a mutual insurance company, technically owned by its policyholders.

Phoenix must satisfy a number of conditions, including approval of the IPO price by the Superintendent, before the demutualization will be effective. Although Phoenix's headquarters are in Hartford, Conn., the company is legally domiciled in New York state.

Within 45 days of the IPO, the approximately 500,000 eligible Phoenix policyholders will receive cash, stock, or policy credits as compensation for giving up their membership rights.

Earlier this year Phoenix Home Life announced that out of 200,528 policyholders who voted on the demutualization plan, 95 percent, or 189,864, approved the plan. Eligible policyholders are those who had in-force policies from Phoenix Home Life on Dec. 18, 2000, including term life, variable life, whole life, variable universal life, and annuities. Those with policies and annuities from Phoenix subsidiaries, including PHL Variable Insurance Co. and Phoenix Life and Annuity Co., are not eligible.

Phoenix first announced plans to demutualize in April 2000.

Phoenix is following in the footsteps of other mutual insurance companies that recently elected to go public including Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, John Hancock Financial Services, and Sun Life Financial Services of Canada. The demutualization trend shows no signs of abating, as Prudential Insurance Co. of America and Principal Financial Group are also currently in the demutualization process. Both companies expect to go public by the end of 2001.

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