Oaktree Capital IPO ready to price


Oaktree Capital ManagementUPDATE: Both Bloomberg and the New York Times Dealbook reported Wednesday evening that the Oaktree IPO priced at the low end of its projected range, $43 per share, and that the offering was reduced to only 9 million shares, producing a take of only $387 million. The official pricing notice will be released before trading begins on the NYSE Thursday morning.

Its initial public offering has been pending since last June, but Oaktree Capital Group LLC is finally ready to sell stock on Wall Street. The company whose $75 billion in assets under management (AUM)  include investments in radio (and some TV) is set to sell about a half billion bucks in stock to the public.

Oaktree, which will trade on the NYSE as “OAK,” plans to sell 11.25 million Class A units for an estimated $43-46 each. The company posted a net loss of $57.1 million in 2011, but focuses on  AUM, which has grown from $17.9 billion in 2000 to a peak of $82.7 billion in 2010, but slipped to $74.9 billion in 2011. It draws revenues from three sources: management fees, incentive income and investment income.

In radio Oaktree funds are known for their investments in Townsquare Media, Peak Broadcasting, Triton Digital, Dial Global and LBI Media (which also has TV). They are also major debt holders of Tribune Company and are due to become significant equity holders once that long, drawn-out Chapter 11 proceeding is completed.

But not one of those names is mentioned in the Oaktree Capital Group LLC stock offering, nor is there any mention of “radio,” “television” or “broadcasting.” This is an IPO by a huge investment management company with far-flung holdings in the debt and equity of companies across many sectors.

RBR-TVBR observation: We repeat what we’ve said before. This is not a broadcasting IPO. It is not even a media IPO. Broadcasting investments are only a tiny portion of the large portfolio held by the various Oaktree funds. But it is an interesting and clever company.