By Jamie McGee
Oct. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Verisk Analytics Inc., the supplier of actuarial data co-owned by insurers including Travelers Cos. and CNA Financial Corp., raised $1.88 billion in an initial public offering, the biggest U.S. IPO since Visa Inc. in 2008.
Verisk sold about 85.3 million shares for $22 a share yesterday, according to Bloomberg data. The Jersey City, New Jersey-based company had said it would sell shares at $19 to $21 apiece.
“There is going to be investor interest for this,” said David Menlow, president of IPOfinancial.com in Milburn, New Jersey. Verisk seems “to be carrying their proprietary analytics package to some of the largest property and casualty companies,” he said.
IPOs filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission are increasing as equity markets improve. Eleven companies offered shares in September, the most since January 2008, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Visa, the world’s largest electronic-payments network, raised more than $19 billion in a March 2008 IPO. It was the world’s second-largest public offering after the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.’s $22 billion debut in 2006.
Verisk Chief Executive Officer Frank Coyne is seeking to capitalize on demand for data that insurance companies use to price coverage and detect policyholder fraud. Insurers, reinsurers and brokers analyze records on everything from weather to driving behavior to select customers and set rates.
Verisk reported net income of $90.9 million for the first half of 2009, compared with $80.9 million in the year-earlier period, according to last week’s filing. Revenue rose to $503.7 million.
The company will trade on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the ticker VRSK.
The Verisk offering is a “very positive indicator” for the IPO market, Menlow said. “Now it appears as though the market is ready to start taking some of the deals, but not at a rapid pace.”
The company won’t earn any proceeds from the sale. American International Group Inc., Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. and Travelers are among insurers selling stakes in the company. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is part owner and isn’t selling shares in the offering, the filing shows.
Bank of America Corp., Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., William Blair & Co., Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller LLC, and KBW Inc. are underwriting the offering, Verisk said.
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