Private equity firm Carlyle Group LP said it is looking to raise between $701.5 million to $762.5 million in its initial public offering, valuing the company at as much as $7.61 billion, as it presses on with its plans to catch up with rivals Blackstone (NYSE:BX), (NYSE:KKR) and Apollo (NYSE:APO).
Most private equity firms haven't fared well in the public markets. Blackstone Group, the world's largest private equity firm, has lost about half its market value since it went public in 2007.
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Last Thursday, Oaktree Capital Group LLC (NYSE:OAK), a private equity firm focused on debt investments, sold fewer-than-expected shares in an IPO that was priced at the bottom of its expected range. It shares ended trading on Friday down 3.5 percent from their IPO price.
Oaktree's IPO is viewed by some investors as a litmus test for a public offering from Carlyle Group, which is expected to kick off its IPO roadshow this week.
The IPO market, which has recovered from last year, has seen volatility in the past week. Solar power plant developer BrightSource Energy Inc withdrew its IPO citing adverse market conditions, whereas Oaktree Capital Management backed aluminum processor Aleris Corp postponed its plans to go public.
The company said it will sell 30.5 million units at between $23 and $25 per unit.
Carlyle, whose investments include Dunkin Brands (NASDAQ:DNKN), Alliance Boots and Freescale Semiconductor, was valued at $20 billion in September 2007, before the credit crisis sent the stock markets tumbling.
Carlyle, which is seeking to sell a 10 percent stake, said the underwriters have the option to purchase up to 4.57 million additional shares.
On Sunday, a source told Reuters the road shows for the IPO are due to start this week with its founders - William Conway, Daniel D'Aniello and David Rubenstein - set to join the marketing efforts as three teams are dispatched to present to investors.
Carlyle's founders will not sell any of their shares in the offering.
The company, which filed for an IPO last September, said it expects to use the proceeds to repay debt, fund acquisitions and for general corporate purposes.
Carlyle, which has about $147 billion in assets under management, returned a record $19 billion to its fund investors in 2011 and reported a 152 percent year-on-year jump in distributable earnings, as sales of several assets in its funds boosted profits.
The company will list its units on the Nasdaq under the symbol "CG."
J.P. Morgan, Citigroup, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are among the underwriters for the IPO.