Moelis Files For IPO Enthused By M&A Rebound

Investment banker Ken Moelis’ Moelis & Co unveiled plans to raise $100 million by offering its class A stock.

Moelis Files For IPO Enthused By M&A Rebound

Post-initial public offering, Ken Moelis will retain control over the company.

Flurry of deals

2013 was the strongest year for U.S. IPOs by dollar volume since 2000, according to Thomson Reuters data. Last year saw large floats such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (NYSE:HLT) and Plains GP Holdings LP (NYSE:PAGP) that lifted deal proceeds 21 percent to $56.4 billion.

Moelis & Co. disclosed paperwork for an IPO

Moelis & Co. on Tuesday disclosed paperwork for an initial public offering on the NYSE Euronext (NYSE:NYX) that it already had filed confidentially in January. In its Tuesday filing, the firm revealed that it has advised on over $1 trillion of deals, including three of the ten biggest announced global mergers in 2013. Some of the large deals advised by the firm includes H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ)’s $23 billion takeover by Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital. The firm is also involved in the $35 billion merger of advertising agencies Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC) and France’s Publicis Groupe S.A. (ADR) (OTCMKTS:PUBGY) (EPA:PUB).

The proposed filing signifies a bet that big corporate clients will continue handing more lucrative M&A assignments to firms such as Moelis that have a narrower focus than their larger Wall Street peers and are perceived to be freer of potential conflicts of interest.

As reported earlier, many leading private equity groups, mostly in the U.S. and including The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) and KKR & Co. L.P. (NYSE:KKR) have gone public in the past seven years.  TPG Capital’s co-founder indicated that his firm is ‘contemplating’ an IPO. He likened the recent IPO initiatives from private equity groups to a previous wave among Wall Street banks, noting Goldman Sachs Group Inc was the last of those financial firms to become a publicly traded company.

Elaborating further on TPG Capital’s IPO strategy, TPG Capital’s co-founder remarked: “At the end of the day, everybody will go public. That will happen in our industry as well”.

Uptick in M&A advisory

A recent uptick in mergers and acquisitions activity has helped independent advisory firms such as Lazard Ltd (NYSE:LAZ), Evercore Partners and Greenhill & Co, who get most of their profit from advisory services on deals. Moelis indicated that about 80 percent of the top 10 deals last year included independent advisers, up from 30 percent in 2003.

Moelis has been actively engaged in a broad canvas of advisory role. For instance, Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corp too was in talks with its lenders to restructure the $261 million of debts and capital lease obligations. The San Jose, California-based company hired Moelis & Co. in October 2012 to help refinance the senior secured debt.


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