Nationwide Parent Wants To Take It Private… Going Mutual! (NFS)

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Nationwide Financial Services, Inc. (NYSE: NFS) has received a proposal from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company and Nationwide Corporation, to acquire all of the outstanding Class A shares of common stock of NFS for $47.20 per share in cash.

Nationwide Mutual owns all of the outstanding shares of the Class B common stock, which already gives the company essentially a "total control" status.  This represents a 66.3% equity ownership and 95.2% of the combined total voting power.

Nationwide did set up an independent committee to review the offer that is comprised of independent and non-affiliated directors to consider the proposal, and it has noted that it will respond to this acquisition offer in due course after a full review and evaluation of terms.

Nationwide closed at $37.93 Friday, and shares are indicated up around $47.50 in early pre-market trading today.  Its 52-week trading range is $37.42 to $65.52.  As this is already a controlled entity, expecting a significantly higher bid may be a bit optimistic.  A slightly higher bid isn’t that hard to fathom. 

Jon C. Ogg
March 10, 2008