Investment bank Moelis files for IPO


Moelis, an independent investment bank formed by former UBS bankers, filed with U.S. regulators on Tuesday to raise up to $100 million in an initial public offering. That figure is often a placeholder that varies wildly once the offering nears.

The New York-based company, led by Wall Street dealmaker Kenneth Moelis, will look to take advantage of an improving U.S. IPO market and an active mergers and acquisitions environment.

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

Kenneth Moelis
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

About 80 percent of the top 10 mergers and acquisitions last year included independent advisors, Moelis said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The company has advised on high-profile deals in 2013, including Warren Buffett and Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital's $23 billion acquisition of H.J. Heinz and the $35 billion merger of advertising agencies Omnicom and Publicis.

Advisory fees from these deals, among others, helped push Moelis' revenue up 7 percent to $411.1 million in 2013. Net income doubled to about $70 million for the year.

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

(Watch: Moelis: M&A on long, slow & steady improvement)

CEO Moelis and other employees hold about 85 percent stake in the company, with 10 percent being owned by institutional investors, according to media reports.

The IPO filing did not reveal how many shares would be sold in the offering or their expected price range.

Moelis named Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley as lead underwriters for the offering.

The company intends to apply to list its Class A stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "MC."

The amount of money a company says it plans to raise in its first IPO filings is a placeholder used to calculate registration fees. The final size of the IPO could be different.

—By Reuters