Carlyle to raise $1bn in weak IPO market

Carlyle, the private equity firm with $108bn under management, plans to raise more than $1bn with a initial public offering of stock but is likely to come to the market with a lower-than-expected valuation, according to bankers familiar with the matter.

Carlyle this month selected Citigroup, Credit Suisse and JPMorgan Chase to lead the offer. Generally, firms file their registration statements within two or three months of selecting bankers, which suggests that Carlyle could list as soon as September if market conditions allow.

A spokesman for Carlyle declined to comment.

The bankers familiar with the matter said recent stock market weakness meant Carlyle would have to accept a lower price for its listing on the New York Stock Exchange than could have been secured earlier this year.

Carlyle had hoped to be valued at almost 10 times its “economic net income”, a metric that excludes costs associated with the listing, they said. Now, Carlyle can expect a multiple of about seven times unless market conditions improve, they added.

Listed private equity firms such as Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Apollo Global Management have suffered similar declines in their fortunes in recent weeks.

KKR, for example, has seen its multiple for next year’s earnings fall from 9.8 times to 7.3 times, according to one banker.

“It is ironic that Carlyle, which is known for its good sense of timing, has hit a patch of market weakness,” said a banker who competed for the listing.

Carlyle is one of the last of the giant private equity firms expected to go public in the near future.

Last week, Oaktree Capital, an alternative asset manager with $85bn under management, filed to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange in a move expected to value the group at $8bn-$9bn.

Among other big private equity firms, the founders of Silver Lake Management, which specialises in technology, have said repeatedly that they have no interest in going public. Top executives at Warburg Pincus and Bain Capital have made similar statements.

In recent months, Carlyle has been among the most active of the leading private equity firms, making more investments and returning more money to its investors than most of its ­competitors.

In the last five quarters, it has made $15bn in new investments, while also returning the same amount of money to its investors.

In addition, Carlyle’s purchase of the Dutch fund of funds AlpInvest Partners is expected to close in a matter of weeks, bringing the firm’s assets to $151bn, a figure that will make it roughly as big as Blackstone.

However, the AlpInvest funds earn lower fees than private equity funds generally command.

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