Citadel A Debt Pioneer

Nov 28 2006 | 2:14pm ET

Citadel Investment Group isn’t collapsing. It’s just taking on debt.

In what is being called the first deal of its kind, Citadel is to raise $2 billion with an offering of medium-term unsecured notes, according to Fitch Ratings. The Chicago-based firm, with some $13 billion in assets under management, is also the first hedge fund firm to receive a Fitch debt rating, in this case triple-B-plus, making the investment-grade cut, if only barely.

The debt will be sold through a private placement, so the bonds will not be registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs are leading the sale.

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