initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

L.A. investment bank Moelis & Co. files for IPO

Moelis & Co., a boutique Los Angeles investment bank, filed for an initial public offering, seeking to capitalize on the soaring stock market and a recent pickup in corporate mergers.

The firm was founded in 2007 by Ken Moelis, a longtime Southern California investment banker. The Century City-based firm would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol MC.

The firm has advised on a host of prominent deals in recent years, including representing the Dodgers and former owner Frank McCourt in the team’s sale to Guggenheim Partners. Moelis also advised on the sale of H.J. Heinz Co. to Berkshire Hathaway Inc. and a private equity firm.

Moelis’ earnings doubled last year to $70 million while revenue rose 7% to $411 million, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The firm has benefited from the increased willingness of large companies to hire smaller advisers for mergers and other investment banking activity. Companies have been drawn to the perception that boutique firms have fewer potential conflicts of interest than big Wall Street investment banks.

Moelis said in its filing that it plans to raise $100 million. But such numbers often are initial estimates meant to calculate registration fees, and bear little relation to the ultimate sizes of deals.

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