Citigroup Selling 12 Million Shares of Primerica

By Matt Jarzemsky
The Wall Street Journal Online, April 12, 2011

Citigroup Inc. is offering at least 12 million shares of Primerica Inc., the life-insurance business it took public about a year ago.

The Primerica holdings are among the assets and businesses Citigroup has been shedding after being bailed out by the U.S. government during the financial crisis. It sold a big chunk of the company in an initial public offering last April that raised $320 million. Later that month, Citi sold about 16.4 million Primerica shares to private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC for $230 million.

The latest stock sale would pare Citi's beneficial ownership in Primerica to as little as 21% from its current 39%. Based on Primerica's closing price on Monday of $24 a share, the offering will raise $288 million.

Citi has exhibited renewed vigor since it returned to profitability last year, but it has worried analysts lately due to a rise in expenses from hiring more bankers and from investing in technology. Also, investment banking results have suggested it has fallen behind its peers in underwriting and trading.

Primerica offers term life insurance, mutual funds, variable annuities and other financial products.