Last updated: January 12, 2014 6:29 pm

Moelis in early-stage talks over IPO

Moelis & Company, the independent US investment bank, is working with Goldman Sachs on a potential initial public offering.

Moelis has enjoyed profitable growth in recent years, advising on a series of high-profile deals including the $23bn takeover of ketchup maker Heinz by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and SABMiller’s $11bn bid for Foster’s, the Australian drinks group. The bank also advised a group of Co-operative Bank bondholders on a restructuring plan for the lender that handed control to its investors.

Moelis is also working with law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom on the IPO, which is still at an early stage.

Senior partners are understood to be keen to see Moelis listed.

The bank’s listed peers in the boutique investment-banking business have had a strong year, particularly Evercore, whose shares are up by 80 per cent over the past 12 months.

However, Ken Moelis, chief executive, has previously been openly opposed to the idea of an IPO for the bank he set up in 2007.

In late 2011 he said that an initial public offering was not in his plans for the future.

Moelis has overcome a dull market for mergers and acquisitions in recent years, taking a growing share of the market from established rivals. This year the bank, which does not disclose revenues or earnings numbers, provided staff and investors with $35m in its first ever cash distribution.

A revival in the number of companies choosing to launch deals in Europe and the US is expected to accelerate in 2014.

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