Carlyle Raises Just $671 Million In Disappointing IPO

May 3 2012 | 12:59am ET

The Carlyle Group raised just two-thirds of the $1 billion it had originally hoped to in an initial public offering yesterday that was underwhelming in just about every way.

Not only did Carlyle net just $671 million, its shares were unable to fetch even the low end of the $23 to $25 range. Instead, the 30.5 million shares went for just $22 each; the deal’s 21 underwriters have 30 days to sell as many as 4.575 million more shares.

The IPO values Carlyle, one of the world’s biggest private equity firms in the world with $150 billion in assets, at just $6.7 billion. That’s about one-third the valuation given the firm by Abu Dhabi’s Mubhadala Development Co., which paid $1.35 billion for just 7.5% of Carlyle four years ago—a valuation of $18 billion.

Carlyle’s valuation is also just half that of the Blackstone Group—a bitter pill, given that until last month Carlyle was pushing for a valuation comparable to or higher than that of its competitor, which went public five years ago. Blackstone had a valuation of $33.5 billion when it went public; it’s now worth less than half that.

Early last month, Carlyle was pushing for a valuation of between $7.5 billion and $8 billion.

Carlyle’s shares will begin trading today on the NASDAQ Global Select Market, under the ticker symbol “CG.”

The disappointing proceeds of the IPO will be used to pay down debt and cover operations, acquisitions and new fund commitments. Carlyle’s owners did not sell any of their shares in the IPO and will not receive any money.

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