Man’s MF Global Fetches Less Than $3B

Jul 19 2007 | 12:40pm ET

The Man Group fell almost $1 billion short of its goal for the initial public offering of its futures brokerage in what’s turning out to be a tough day for hedge fund firms in the public markets.

London-based Man raised $2.92 billion in the New York Stock Exchange listing. More than 97 million shares of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based unit sold at $30 per share—well below the range of $36 to $39 it had sought. Investor jitters about the collapse of Bear Stearns’ two heavily sub-prime-dependent hedge funds and about the future of futures brokers generally may have contributed to the disappointment, which continued during the stock’s first day of trading.

Shares of MF Global, which trades on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “MG,” were down $2.45 to $27.55—more than 8%—in midday trading, having fallen as low as $27.13 earlier.

Man decided to sell MF Global, which handles futures, options and other derivatives trading, to focus on its hedge fund business. It maintains a 20% stake in the spun-off MF Global.

On the other side of the pond, in Man’s hometown of London, New York-based activist hedge fund manager Third Point also fell short of its goals in a listing of one of its hedge funds.

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