The Apollo IPO Story: DealBook Doubts It!

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There’s no Apollo IPO in the works and Apollo has not hired any investment banks to get the process started, says Andrew Ross Sorkin, fresh from the high of his takeover of the Business Section of the New York Times(technically, the B.S. still exists but it’s clearly now redundant and will be phased out).
Sorkin takes the Wall Street Journal/Deal Journal theory of competing banks and pushes it a step further—he says the deal isn’t even “in the works.” Except maybe in the hopes and dreams of bankers at Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan. What’s more, he says that Apollo did go to hear an investment bank pitch an IPO yesterday—but that bank was neither Goldman nor JP Morgan.

One problem: It’s not true. Apollo is not going public next month, nor the month after that — and probably not the month after that either.
People close to the firm told DealBook they have not hired any investment banks, and while they have held meetings with bankers pitching such an idea, they have not even decided to take the initial steps to pursue it.
As recently as Tuesday, Apollo’s senior executives met with an investment bank — not Goldman Sachs and J.P Morgan — to hear their pitch, these people said. One option on the table is to sell a small stake in the firm to a prominent investor as a way to create some liquidity and set a floor for any future offering or sale.
So what’s with the rumors? Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan, which were both left out of Blackstone Group’s proposed initial public offering, appear desperate to take another private equity firm public — and so they may be not-so-subtly pushing Apollo into the market. (Talk about client service!)

Sorkin’s sources denying the Apollo IPO story at least sound a bit closer to Apollo—literally, since he describes them as “people close to the firm”—than the Journal’s unnamed people who are familiar with people. So this sounds close to an actual denial, rather than the double-blind non-denial we prated on about this morning. But is it really credible that Goldman and JP Morgan have just made up this story, hoping that reality will catch up with them?
So far all the reports--CNBC's, the Journal's and the Post's--do seem to come from sources at the banks. So the question is who is getting played by their sources: Sorkin or everyone else?
Apollo Close to an I.P.O.? Only in Banks’ Dreams [DealBook]

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