Apollo gathers more than $14bn for Fund VII

The buyout firm has tacked on 7.5 million shares to its registration for a public float on the New York Stock Exchange and revealed that Fund VII is less than $1bn short of its $15bn target.

Apollo Global Management is nearing the $15 billion (€10 billion) target of its seventh buyout fund.

The New York-based firm has raised more than $14 billion to date, according to the firm’s amended registration with the US Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.

Apollo has also substantially increased the number of shares to be sold in the firm’s IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, according to the filing.

The offering will now include the sale of 37.3 million Class A shares at a yet-to-be-determined price. The original filing in April was for 29.8 million shares.

Apollo first tested investor appetite for its shares last August when it sold 27 million shares of Class A stock on Goldman Sachs' private exchange, GSTRuE at an issue price of $24.

The 7.5 million shares added to the IPO were owned by Credit Suisse Management. Credit Suisse purchased the shares last summer and agreed not to sell the shares for a one year period beginning 8 August 2007.

Despite moving forward with the IPO, Apollo founder Leon Black has repeatedly voiced his concerns over the perils of going public. “The real negative is being public; it’s being in that fish bowl; it’s Sarbanes-Oxley; it’s having any little shareholder sue you for whatever,” he said at a conference last year. “I’m not sure any of us needs that.”

Apollo this month hired former NYSE Euronext investor relations chief Gary Stein to fill the newly created position of director of investor relations. Stein will be responsible for establishing and managing relationships with current and prospective investors, research analysts and the financial community at large.

The hire will support Apollo’s efforts to enhance its visibility with the investment community, chief financial officer Kenneth Vecchione said in a statement at the time. The appointment was seen as a signal of the growing institutionalisation of internal operations preceding the firm’s public float.