Investment bank Moelis planning IPO -WSJ

Sat Jan 11, 2014 6:43am IST

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A statue of Ganesh, the deity of prosperity, is carried in a taxi to a place of worship on the first day of the ten-day-long Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Mumbai August 29, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

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Jan 10 (Reuters) - New York-based investment bank Moelis & Co is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc and others on a potential initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Founded by Wall Street dealmaker Ken Moelis, the bank is assembling paperwork for its IPO, and working on it with law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and other advisers, the Journal said.

Moelis in November said it hired former Citigroup Inc banker Jonathan Kaye to focus on its merger and acquisition practice and shareholder activism, in a sign that investment banks want to be able to advise public companies as shareholders look to shake up boardrooms.

The firm was founded in March 2007, after Ken Moelis stepped down from his role as an investment banker at Swiss financial giant UBS AG to open his own investment banking shop.

Ken Moelis and other employees together hold an 85 percent stake in the company, while another 10 percent of the firm is owned by institutional investors, people familiar with the IPO plans told the WSJ.

Andrea Hurst, a media relations representative at Moelis, was not immediately available to comment.

Moelis may not decide to go public at this time and instead opt for other ways of raising funds, but the bank sees a potential opportunity for an IPO soon, in the wake of a strong stock-offering market, the people told the WSJ.

Last year ranked as the strongest for U.S. IPOs since 2000 by dollar volume, according to Thomson Reuters data, as large floats such as Hilton Worldwide Holdings and Plains GP Holdings lifted deal proceeds up 21 percent from 2012 to $56.4 billion in 2013.

Last year also marked Moelis's best year of revenue, as the firm advised on multibillion-dollar deals that included ketchup-maker H.J. Heinz Co's takeover by Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital, the WSJ said, citing the people.

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