BankUnited IPO Raises $783 Million as Blackstone, Carlyle Reduce Holdings

BankUnited Inc. surged 5.2 percent in its first day of trading after raising $783 million in an initial public offering by buyout firms that acquired the lender regulators shut in 2009.

BankUnited sold 29 million shares at $27 apiece, the company said yesterday in a statement, after offering 26.3 million shares at $23 to $25. Blackstone Group LP, Carlyle Group and WL Ross & Co. were among investors who bought BankUnited for $900 million, or $10.01 a share on average, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show. Before increasing the offering, existing shareholders had stood to gain $1.2 billion if it priced at the top of the range. BankUnited closed at $28.40 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Buyout firms are trimming stakes after the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed to a 29-month high, and the KBW Bank Index reached an eight-month high. In October, the company said it would seek to raise $300 million. Last week, it boosted the offering to $656 million. The Miami Lakes Florida based lender, formerly known as BankUnited Financial Corp., was founded in 1984 and publicly traded from 1985 until shuttered by regulators in May 2009.

BankUnited will use the IPO capital to purchase banks in Florida and in New York as soon as 2012, Chief Executive Officer John Kanas said today in an interview with Margaret Brennan on Bloomberg Television’s “InBusiness.” “As the industry consolidates, it wouldn’t be surprising if there are a couple thousand fewer banks a few years down the road,” Kanas said.

Carlyle, Blackstone

Funds affiliated with Washington-based Carlyle and New York-based Blackstone and WL Ross had aimed to each sell 5.1 million shares, according to regulatory filings before the IPO. While the company stuck to a plan to sell 4 million shares, the owners increased their sale, the company’s statement shows. It doesn’t say which firms sold additional stock.

At the original midpoint offering price of $24, BankUnited would have been valued at 1.75 times book value, or assets minus liabilities, as of Sept. 30, taking into account proceeds from the IPO, according to the SEC filing. That was more than double the average price-to-book ratio of 0.76 among 225 U.S.-traded savings and loan companies, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

The buyout group was among a handful of investors who won regulatory approval to acquire failed lenders with government support during the credit crisis. Investors including J.C. Flowers & Co. bought California’s IndyMac Bank in 2009 and pumped $1.55 billion into the lender.

‘Riskier Assets’

Investors are showing “a strong bias toward riskier assets,” said Christopher Turner, head of capital markets at New York-based private-equity firm Warburg Pincus LLC, which oversees about $30 billion. “IPOs are one of the best ways to do that because you can invest in scale, usually at a reliable discount.”

Private equity-led IPOs last year rose 4.1 percent on average in the first month of trading, less than half the 9.2 percent advance for all other IPOs, data compiled by Bloomberg show. A record $1.6 trillion in leveraged buyouts were completed from 2005 to 2007, according to London-based Preqin Ltd.

Nielsen Holdings NV, the New York-based television-audience rating company that was taken private by six leveraged buyout firms in 2006, rallied in its first day of trading Jan. 26 after selling its IPO above the forecast price range. It was the biggest U.S. initial sale for a private equity-backed LBO target since November 2006, according to data compiled by Bloomberg and Greenwich, Connecticut-based Renaissance Capital LLC.

Separately, InterXion Holding NV, the Schiphol-Rijk, Netherlands-based provider of data center support services, raised $265 million yesterday pricing its IPO at the high end of the forecast range. The shares closed up 6.2 percent to $13.80 on the NYSE.

BCD Semiconductor Manufacturing Ltd. of Shanghai raised $63 million selling American depositary receipts at $10.50 each, data compiled by Bloomberg show. BCD Semiconductor shares were unchanged in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.

To contact the reporter on this story: Justin Doom in New York at jdoom1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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