Many large buyout firms are considering whether to go public right now, Leon Black, founding partner of Apollo Advisors, said today at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills, Calif.
The question is, is this a window or something that will become the norm? Mr. Black said. Apollo Advisors already has two public limited partnerships: a business development company listed in the U.S. and a public fund listed in Europe.
The advantages of going public include cashing out diversified income streams that buyout firms have built up. A public offering also provides permanent cash to buy investment management teams in industries where buyout firms lack expertise, said Mr. Black.
The downside is that a public company is put under a microscope ... and you have shareholders coming out of the woodwork to sue you. If youre a public company and you lose money, people don't think you lost their money, people feel you stole their money, he said.