Artisan Makes Second Run at IPO With Dow at Record

Artisan Partners Asset Management Inc., the Milwaukee-based money manager that withdrew plans to go public in 2011, is making a second attempt after a stock-market rally whetted investor appetite for equity funds.

Artisan, which offers a dozen U.S. and non-U.S. investment strategies, is seeking as much as $333 million in an initial public offering today, pricing 11.5 million shares at $27 to $29 each, according to regulatory filings. The midpoint of that range would value Artisan at $1.93 billion. The company will trade under the symbol APAM on the New York Stock Exchange.

Artisan, led by Executive Chairman Andrew Ziegler and Chief Executive Officer Eric Colson, withdrew its registration in December 2011, citing “unfavorable market conditions.” Markets have rebounded since then, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average surging 17 percent since the end of 2011 and closing at a record 14,254 yesterday. Equity mutual funds in the U.S. attracted $54 billion in the first seven weeks of the year, according to data from the Investment Company Institute.

Artisan’s funds include the top-performing $6.6 billion Artisan International Value Fund, which beat 99 percent of peers over the past five years, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The $8 billion Artisan Mid Cap Value Fund beat 97 percent of rivals over the past five years. The team that runs the fund won Morningstar Inc.’s award for best domestic stock-fund manager in 2011.

“I think their overall investment performance will help them,” Geoff Bobroff, a fund consultant in East Greenwich, Rhode Island, said in a phone interview. “As a public company they’ll be faced with a lot of things, but investors and intermediaries like Artisan’s products, and that’s a good sign for them.”

Artisan’s Earnings

Net income fell 75 percent in 2012 to $33.8 million as expenses related to compensation climbed, according to regulatory filings. Revenue, most of which it earns from fees for managing client money, rose in each of the previous three years. Assets surged 30 percent in 2012 to $74 billion.

The company will use $90 million of the sale’s proceeds to repay debt, $67.1 million to buy shares from early investors and $61.3 million to pay a distribution to pre-IPO partners, Artisan said in regulatory filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Artisan said it distributed $56.8 million to portfolio managers and $40 million to partners before today’s sale.

U.S. IPOs so far this year have raised at least $10 billion, compared with $3 billion during the same period last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Pfizer Inc.’s animal-health company Zoetis Inc. raised $2.24 billion in its January offering, pricing shares above the proposed range, and has gained more than 30 percent since. Norwegian Cruise Line Holding Ltd., which raised $447 million earlier that month after pricing above the range, has surged 58 percent.

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