Och-Ziff Files to Go Public; IPO Could Raise $2 Billion

Hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital Management Group filed to go public in a deal that could raise as much as $2 billion, CNBC’s David Faber reported.

“The key here is attracting talent,” Faber said on CNBC Monday. “If you have a competitor that has a stock out there, it’s going to be difficult for you if you don’t (recruit talent). This is a seminal moment for the hedge fund industry with so many of the big players conceivably going down the public route.”

The deal follows recent IPOs and planned offerings from investment groups such as Blackstone Group, Fortress Investment, GLG Partners and Third Point.

Och-Ziff has about $26.8 billion under management, and much of that is invested in its OZ Master Fund, which accounts for about 65% of its assets under management.

Och-Ziff was founded in 1994 by former Goldman Sachs investor Daniel Och and the Ziff family. It has been well regarded in the $1.5 trillion hedge fund world, particularly for its knowledge of distressed debt and restructuring. The fund also engages in merger and convertible arbitrage, and invests in private equity and real estate.

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group earned a return of 15.7% in the last year and 12.2% over the last two- and five-year periods.

According to Faber, the existing partners plan to invest 100% of after-tax proceeds from the IPO into the hedge fund.

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The Class A shares will represent limited liability company interests.

Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers will serve as co-lead managers for the planned IPO. The proposed NYSE symbol is OZM.