Essent Group prices IPO above expectations at $17 per share

|By:, SA News Editor

The mortgage insurer backed by George Soros, Goldman Sachs (GS), and JPMorgan (JPM) had expected a price range of $13.50-$15.50. At a price of $17, the company would be valued at about $1.4B and the 19.7M shares sold (24% of company) will raise nearly $335M.

Goldman is selling 1.5M of its shares, cutting its stake in the company to 7%. Soros isn't planning on selling and will have a 9% stake.

Mortgage insurer pure-plays like Radian (RDN) and MGIC Investment (MTG) have been high-flyers this year, as have those with sizable MI operations like Genworth (GNW) and AIG.

Essent will trade under the symbol ESNT.