The IPO market continues to show weakness, especially the financial sector. Tony Ressler’s Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES) IPOed today, May 2nd, at $19 and already down almost 3% in early trading. The earlier announced expected range of the IPO was between $21 and $23.
The size of the IPO was also reduced by more than a third, from 18.2 million shares to 11.4 million shares. None of the senior professionals in the firm, including Ressler, sold any shares in the initial public offering. Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES)‘s initial sale of shares to the public raised $216 million, priced well below the expected range and values the firm at $4 billion
Ares Management background
Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES) is a credit investment and private equity firm that spun off from Apollo Global Management LLC (NYSE:APO) back in 1997. Ares in helmed by Tony Ressler, an exec from failed investment bank Drexel Burnham Lambert who formed Apollo with several other former Drexel managers after the collapse of the firm.
The firm’s biggest deal to date was the $6 billion leveraged buyout of luxury retailer Neiman Marcus a few years ago, a deal which has turned a handsome profit. Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES) has more than $74 billion in assets under management and has just over 700 employees.
Weak IPO market
The Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES) IPO is one of several recent initial public offerings that have landed with a thud. Ares offering comes against the backdrop of a nervous stock market that has led several other IPOs, especially in the financial sector, to end up well below their expected ranges. Moelis & Co (NYSE:MC), a small investment bank headed by Ken Moelis, also had a disappointing IPO two weeks ago, raising significantly less than initially expected.
Founders not selling
It is certainly worth noting, and arguably a positive sign for the future, that almost none of the original principals or early investors in Ares Management LP (NYSE:ARES) sold any shares in the IPO. Ressler holds around 30% of the total shares in the company, worth around $1.2 billion at the $4 billion IPO valuation. Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, an early Ares investor, also elected to not participate in the IPO.