Private Equity Giant Pursues IPO Up to $500 Million

Three years after filing its first prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the private-equity firm Apollo Global Management is finally set to launch a traditional initial public offering, according to people familiar with the matter.

In recent weeks, say these people, Apollo officials have met with underwriters to discuss the size and timetable of an IPO that could come as early as this spring. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, and Bank of America have been selected to lead the deal, these people say.

Apollo’s IPO prospectus, which was first filed in April 2008 and has since been amended seven times, indicates that the deal would sell just $50 million in new shares—a tiny offering for a company valued in the billions of dollars.

But the people familiar with the matter say that Apollo is in fact considering an offering of between $300 million and $500 million, although exact terms and timing are still to be determined. Apollo officials declined to comment on the deal.

In 2007, Apollo launched a private securities offering, otherwise known as a “144a” deal, and its shares began trading on GSTrUE, an exchange operated by Goldman Sachs . (That exchange is now owned by a group of securities firms and is known as the PORTAL Alliance.) The firm’s shares still trade there, but stock quotes aren’t publicly available.

As part of the intended IPO, Apollo shares would move off the private exchange and onto a public one, most likely the New York Stock Exchange, say the people familiar with the matter.

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