Och-Ziff Capital Management unveils plans for IPO

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group has filed a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a proposed initial public offering of its Class A shares, representing Class A limited liability company interests.

Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers are co-lead managers for Och-Ziff's proposed public offering, which plans to raise up to USD2bn. The firm plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange.

A leading institutional alternative asset management firm with asset management centres in New York and London and other offices in Hong Kong, Bangalore and Tokyo, Och-Ziff has USD28.6bn in assets under management, much of it invested in assets outside the US.

According to the prospectus, the firm's assets have grown nearly fivefold in US dollar terms since the end of 2003, when Och-Ziff was managing USD5.7bn. The company achieved profits of USD85m on revenue of USD284m in the first quarter of this year.

The firm's SEC filing comes around two weeks after private equity manager Blackstone Group went public and shortly after London-based GLG Partners announced plans to list in the US through a reverse takeover.

Dogged by uncertainty over the future taxation of private equity profits, Blackstone's share price has fallen from a first-day high of USD45 to below its offering price of USD31, while Fortress Investment Group, a manager of hedge and private equity funds, has seen its price drop by nearly a third since its IPO in April.

The 18 Och-Ziff partners will invest their proceeds from the IPO in the OZ Global Special Investments funds, which will extend the firm's investments to Latin America, central Europe, South Africa, Indian real estate, energy, alternative energy and carbon trading. The partners can redeem their investments in the funds after five years, while other employees can cash in their stock holdings after for years.

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