Moelis, the advisory firm founded in 2007 by former UBS banker Kenneth Moelis, is exploring an initial public offering early this year, according to two people with knowledge of the preparations.
Bloomberg reports that the share sale would capitalize on Moelis’s rising stature among merger and restructuring advisers and allow partners and employees, who own about 85% of the firm, to sell some of their stakes, said the people, who asked for anonymity because the plans are preliminary and may change. The Wall Street Journal reported the potential offering on January 10th.
Moelis could benefit from investor demand for stock in independent advisory firms. Evercore Partners’ stock nearly doubled last year, while Greenhill’s rose 11%. Evercore went public in 2006, and Greenhill’s debut was in 2004.
Moelis is looking to raise money at a price-to-earnings ratio in the 30s, similar to the levels at which those competitors trade, the people said.
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