Moelis & Co planning public debut--source
Citing people knowledgeable about the deal, The Wall Street Journal reported that Moelis & Co, an investment bank based in New York, is working on a possible initial public offering together with Goldman Sachs Group Inc and others. The report said the bank is putting together the paper work for its public debut and that it is being advised by law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and others.
The bank was established in March 2007 by Wall Street dealmaker Ken Moelis after he left Swiss-based UBS AG where he worked as an investment banker. In November, Moelis said it had engaged the services of Jonathan Kaye, a former banker at Citigroup Inc, to concentrate on the firm's merger and acquisition practice as well as shareholder activism, a signal that investment banks are looking to advise public firms even as shareholders seek to make a difference in boardrooms.
WSJ sources said 85% of the company is held by Ken Moelis and other employees while institutional investors own another 10% of the firm. They added that Moelis may opt not to go public but look for other fundraising methods. However, a strong stock-offering market is looked at by the lender as a possible opportunity to hold an IPO soon.
Thomson Reuters data showed that in terms of dollar volume, last year was the strongest for IPOs in the US in 13 years. Large floats, including that of Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Plains GP Holdings brought deal proceeds in 2013 to $56.4 billion which represented a 21% increase from the previous year.
The WSJ report said that 2013 was also the best year of revenue for Moelis as the investment bank was an adviser in multibillion transactions. These deals included that of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and private equity firm 3G Capital's takeover of ketchup manufacturer HJ Heinz Co.