Magazine article American Banker

Another IPO Plan by Keefe Bruyette

Magazine article American Banker

Another IPO Plan by Keefe Bruyette

Article excerpt

Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., which has twice considered and retreated from plans to go public, said Thursday that it would pursue an initial public offering.

The 44-year-old brokerage and investment bank is employee-owned. In addition to its previous flirtations with an IPO, it has also discussed the possibility of being acquired. The firm has routinely been among the top bank merger and acquisition advisers, and last year aggressively expanded its research, underwriting, and trading business in Europe.

In a press release KBW said that "a public offering will enhance the company's ability to pursue growth opportunities with additional capital and a publicly traded security."

In a letter to KBW's 421 employees, chairman and chief executive John Duffy said, "We continue to see opportunities to expand our asset management, securitization and European businesses."

"We are in very preliminary stages" of the IPO plan, Mr. Duffy wrote. The firm has not fixed a timetable or identified a specific deal structure or size, he wrote.

Keefe Bruyette is said to be looking to sell 25% of itself through the offering. In its first planned IPO, in 1998, it said it would sell a 28% stake to raise about $85 million.

After KBW filed the prospectus to go public in 1998, bank stocks weakened severely and directors decided the timing was not right, pulling the offering in September of that year.

Another IPO attempt, less than a year later, was derailed after then-CEO James McDermott revealed in May 1999 to the board that he faced accusations of providing his mistress with insider information on bank mergers. …

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