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Apollo Launching An IPO?

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Goldman Sachs is advising Apollo Management on an initial public offering, we learned from CNBC’s Charlie Gasparino late in the afternoon yesterday. Later CNBC reported that JP Morgan had a piece of the deal as well. While no final decision has been made to pursue the IPO, the private equity firm was “pretty far along” in the discussions and leaning toward launching an IPO possibly as early as this far, Gasparino said.
Today’s Wall Street Journal adds to the story, reporting that Apollo has hired J.P. Morgan as well as Goldman Sachs to arrange the IPO, which the Journal’s Kate Kelly and Robin Sidel say would include only a small portion of Apollo equity and could be worth a $1.5 billion. Team Kelley & Sidel also cite “people close to the banks” naming an even earlier IPO date, saying it could come “as early as this month or May.”
The New York Post weighs in as well this morning, reporting that its sources say that Apollo might file for the IPO as early as… “soon.”
Questions remain open. First and foremost: Is this really going to happen? Team Kelley & Sidel cite unnamed “people familiar with Apollo’s thinking” who then cite unidentified people in “Apollo’s executive ranks” who deny that an IPO is “in the works.” Team Kelley & Sidel treat this as “Apollo distancing itself” from the IPO talk—and the boys at the Junior Journal (also known as the Journal’s M&A blog, Deal Journal) read this as a straight forward denial.
But it’s clearly anything but a straight forward denial! Denying something through double blind, unquotable paraphrase is tantamount to, well, admitting it. No one at Apollo, Goldman or JP Morgan seems willing to take responsibility for the denial. Something they could easily do if there was no IPO in the works. This might be “distancing” but one senses Apollo is only backing up while getting ready to charge into an IPO.
Apollo IPO? []
Apollo Is Pushed to Become Latest Private-Equity IPO [Wall Street Journal]
Apollo: Goldman and J.P. Morgan’s Consolation Prize [Deal Journal]
Apollo Boss Plans To Follow Rival To IPO [New York Post]