Evercore IPO raises $83m

The merger advisory firm and private equity investment manager raised $83m in its initial public offering, as nearly four million shares sold at $21 per share.

Evercore Partners, the boutique investment and advisory firm led by Blackstone Group alumni Roger Altman and Austin Beutner, raised $83 million (€65 million) in its initial public offering yesterday amid heavy trading, selling 3.95 million shares.

Evercore Capital Partners, the private equity arm of Evercore, has in the past completed transactions worth $4 billion in partnership with other investors. Its portfolio companies include New York-based American Media, the publisher of the National Enquirer and Star Magazine; Illinois waste transport company Mr. Bult’s; and Michigan Electric Transmission.

Shares were trading as high as $26.20 per share today, significantly up from the initial IPO pricing yesterday of $21 per share.

US-based Evercore, since its founding in 1996, has become the eighth-largest investment bank, based on $136 billion (€107 billion) in mergers in which it acted as an advisor this year. This includes the $89.4 billion acquisition of Atlanta-based telecom company BellSouth by AT&T currently in the works.

Evercore’s offering follows in the footsteps of other recent US investment bank IPOs, including Lazard’s $855 million IPO in 2005 and Greenhill & Company’s $87.5 million offering the previous year. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods also filed for a $100 million IPO today.

Altman, the co-CEO of Evercore, started his career at Lehman Brothers where he eventually rose to co-head of overall investment banking. He served as Assistant Treasury Secretary during the Carter administration.

Altman later became vice chairman at Blackstone before becoming Deputy Treasury Secretary in January 1993 during the Clinton administration. He resigned that Treasury post in August 1994 after giving conflicting testimony to Senate investigators during their investigation into Clinton’s Whitewater real-estate deals. Altman launched Evercore in 1996, and was later an economic advisor to the 2004 Presidential campaign of US Senator John Kerry.