U.S. News

Man IPO Pricing Values U.S. Arm at Up to $5 Billion

By Reuters

Man Group, the world's biggest listed hedge fund firm, has set the indicative price range for the flotation of its U.S. brokerage arm, MF Global, valuing the unit between $4.6 billion and $5 billion.

Man, which unveiled plans in March to demerge the unit, said on Thursday that it had set the range for the initial public offering (IPO) at $36 to $39 a share.

Michael Long, an analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, told Reuters the valuation was slightly above his expectations.

The pricing comes as Blackstone Group, one of the world's biggest private equity investment firms, prepares to float in an IPO as large as $4.75 billion, making it the U.S.'s biggest so far this year.

In September, Man will list the Man Dual Absolute Return Fund, a hedge fund, in New York.

Net proceeds from the flotation of MF Global, which is subject to shareholder approval, will be returned to investors later this year.

In March Peter Clarke, who took over as Man's chief executive from Stanley Fink, told Reuters the business had started to have "a separate, stand-alone identity of its own".

Man said last month that Citigroup, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and UBS Investment Bank were underwriting the IPO, and that MF Global had applied to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "MF".

Man Group's shares were down 0.5% at 622.5 pence in a falling London market, having risen 2.2% on Wednesday after reporting a weekly 3.55% rise in the net asset value of its flagship AHL fund.