MetLife Inc.'s decision to go public will make it the most widely held stock in the country, supplanting Lucent Technologies Inc. (LU).
Take that, new economy.
On Tuesday, MetLife became the latest insurance company to convert from mutual ownership by its policyholders to public ownership, as underwriters priced 202 million shares at $14.25 apiece. The stock rose 6 cents to $15.56 on the New York Stock Exchange.
In the second part of its conversion, MetLife will issue shares to about 9 million policyholders in exchange for their former ownership stake.
Lucent has about 4.7 million separate shareholders. AT&T Corp. (T), from which Lucent was spun off in 1996, has 4.1 million.