IPO planned for new life insurance company

Thursday, February 10th 2005, 1:17 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Former state legislator Wayne Pettigrew and former University of Oklahoma football stars Steve and Tinker Owners are among the backers of a proposal to start a new life insurance company with funds raised through an initial public offering.

Tulsa-based First Trinity Financial Corp.'s stock is to be priced at $5 per share and will be offered only to Oklahoma residents, according to the company's preliminary prospectus. The stock will not be publicly traded. The IPO is aimed at raising more than $12 million.

An investor must purchase at least 200 shares, according to First Trinity's prospectus. If the organizers are unable to raise at least $1 million this year, investors would receive a refund plus interest.

Kenneth Maillard, director of registrations of the Oklahoma Securities Department, said only six such offerings have been registered by the agency in the last five years.

``It's been sparse, real sparse,'' Maillard said of local stock offerings.

The IPO market locally and nationally has been depressed since the 2001 stock slide and economic recession. Because of the limited scope of First Trinity's offering, the company is exempt from filing with federal regulators.

First Trinity's only full-time employee, Gregg Zahn, said Wednesday that he would not discuss the company's prospects until the Securities Department registers the company's shares.

More than 150 early investors in the company have put up $1,450,000, he said.

Among those early investors and board members are the Owenses and Pettigrew, who are in the insurance business. Several other board members and corporate officers have strong ties to the insurance industry. Pettigrew said Trinity's startup contributed to his decision last year to withdraw from a runoff for his House seat.