Ares: First Private Equity IPO in Two Years

Los Angeles-based alternative asset manager Ares Management (NYSE:ARES) went public today on the New York Stock Exchange, listing under the ticker “ARES.” Following weak private equity earnings and a dismal IPO market, Ares shares fell 4% in their market debut.

After selling 11.4 million shares at $19 each, Ares raised $216 million in the public offering, beneath the expected range of $21 to $23 and less than the 18.2 million shares previously planned.

The firm holds $74 billion in assets under management, including nutrition store GNC and Samsonite luggage. Ares teamed up with a Canadian pension plan to buy luxury retailer Neiman Marcus for $6 billion in September.

Private equity accounts for $10 billion of Ares assets under management. Ares has a $28 billion tradable credit business, a $27 billion direct lending business and also has $9 billion in real estate assets.

Ares brought in $479 million in revenue last year, up from $334 million in 2012, including  management fees and performance fees.

Ares also brought in $1.2 billion in other income, stemming from investment gains. Ares net income was $813 million, down from $1.2 billion in 2012.

Ares is the first private equity IPO since Carlyle (NASDAQ:CG)  in 2012. KKR (NYSE:KKR), Blackstone (NYSE:BX) and Apollo (NYSE:APO) are among the private equity firms that have also gone public.

Ares was founded in 1997, before spinning out from Apollo Management in 2002. Ares CEO Antony Ressler was an Apollo co-founder and is the brother-in-law of Apollo CEO Leon Black.

Although the U.S. IPO market was off to the best start since 2000, it has stalled in recent weeks. The Renaissance Capital ETF, which tracks IPO investments, is down 5% this past month.