Lansdowne Torn Over Public Offering

Apr 9 2008 | 7:32am ET

London-based hedge fund Lansdowne Partners is leaning against going public, but continues to debate the issue, the firm’s CEO said yesterday.

“The internal debate continues,” Paul Ruddock said at an industry conference in San Francisco. He said the firm is intrigued by the currency for acquisitions an initial public offering would provide, as well as giving the firm another way to compensate its partners and fund managers, but he worries that being a public company would distract the firm from its long-term goals.

Ruddock told the conference, sponsored by Institutional Investor, that Lansdowne—which sold a 19% stake to Morgan Stanley more than a year ago—is considering other strategic relationships with investors which would allow it to raise longer-term capital with going public.

“It’s very important to match your liquidity profile with investor requirements,” he said. “Once you put a gate in or suspend redemptions, you’re basically out of business.”

He said Lansdowne has not faced margin calls during the credit crisis, and that its U.K. fund was up and European fund down in the first quarter.

A spokesman for Lansdowne told FINalternatives today that the firm has no plans to go public.

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