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Oaktree Capital Group raises less than planned in IPO

Los Angeles distressed-debt manager Oaktree Capital Group raises $380 million by selling 8.8 million shares at $43 each. The company will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange.

April 12, 2012|By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times

Wall Street investment firms have not had the most successful initial public offerings in recent years — and Oaktree Capital Group may be no exception.

Despite being highly regarded, the Los Angeles distressed-debt manager raised less in its IPO on Wednesday than planned.

The company announced that it raised $380 million by selling 8.8 million shares at $43 each. That's at the lower end of its proposed range of $43 to $46 a share, according to an earlier filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Oaktree also slashed the size of its offering by about 24% from the 11.25 million shares it originally planned to sell, according to research firm Renaissance Capital.

At the maximum price and offering size, Oaktree would have raised $517.5 million.

The company will begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol OAK.

Oaktree is one of the world's largest investment managers, with about $75 billion under management. It specializes in so-called distressed debt, buying up the bonds of companies in financial trouble.

Led by Howard Marks and Bruce Karsh, Oaktree also is a big player in private equity and commercial real estate. The firm owns a minority stake in DoubleLine Capital, the bond fund start-up launched in 2009 by prominent money manager Jeffrey Gundlach.

Along with other distressed-debt firms, Oaktree owns bonds issued by Tribune Co., owner of the Los Angeles Times, and is expected to take an equity stake in the media company when it emerges from bankruptcy protection.

walter.hamilton@latimes.com

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