Straws in the PE wind
One thing I learned in politics: anedotal information always confirmed what polls would tell you down the road. So here are some straws in the winds to conjure:
• Apollo raised a $900 million BDC in April 2004, and is up 39% since the IPO.
• KKR raises a $5 billion public fund in Amsterdam in May 2006.
• Fortress Investment Group, a massive $30 billion hedge fund, goes public on February 9th, creating incredible wealth for that talented team.
• Blackstone, a top drawer buyout fund, is rumoured on March 16th to be looking at a public offering, crystallizing many years of value creation by their founder, among others.
• Onex CEO Gerald Schwartz is going to sell $64 million of stock, according to a report today. Onex is Canada’s largest publicly-traded merchant bank. The stock is up 55% over the past 12 months.
Is there a trend here? While it is hard to draw a straight line between each of the anecdotes above, there’s a theme of sorts developing. Some of the smartest investors in the PE world appear to be crystallizing their nut, or taking chips off the table.
Remember the IPO of TD Waterhouse? Or 724 Solutions? Didn’t work out so well for retail investors in the end. Yet those smart partners at Goldman Sachs have done well for everyone since their 1999 offering, earning investors 184% since that IPO.
How would the late John D. Rockefeller have interpreted this most recent flurry of announcements for us? Nominations will be accepted in the comment section below.
It’s the final flurry before the fall.
What goes up most come down and most things that fall come back up! For example, a leaf falls off a tree and rots into the ground so the tree can grow even more leaves the next year and even expand into growing fruit! Patience. Debt & equity in all their wonderful forms in our capitalist system are not going disappear for quiet a while… we just keep getting more creative at using them.