Private Equity Firm Ares Management’s IPO Comes Up Short

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Ares Management L.P. (NYSE: ARES) sold 11.2 million shares Friday morning at an IPO price of $19 a share, well below both the planned offer of 18.2 million shares and the expected price range of $21 to $23.

The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority had originally planned to sell 6.8 million shares at the initial public offering, but chose instead to retain its entire stake. At the IPO price the firm is valued at about $4 billion.

Ares got its start with junk bonds and leveraged loans, but it has now begun lending to smaller companies as well as buying companies and financing takeovers. The firm has $74 billion in assets under management and employs about 700 people in more than 15 offices in the United States, Europe and Asia.

The private equity firm appears to have run into a lack of enthusiasm for the sector. Adding to that is the recent lack of interest in IPOs in general. Recent offerings have fared less well than those launched in the first three months of the year. Numbers have dwindled in the past few weeks, although they might be reversing again. The calendar for next week currently lists nine companies planning IPOs.

Shares of Ares opened Friday morning at $18.30 and traded down about 4.2% to $18.24 in the first 30 minutes of the session.

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