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Apollo Fueled by $9.6 Billion Profit on Debt Rockets Past Peers

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Joshua Harris, the marathon-running co-founder of Apollo Global Management LLC, was in a hole.

The 2008 collapse of housewares retailer Linens ’n Things Inc. had wiped out most of Apollo’s $430 million investment. A global financial crisis threatened its leveraged buyouts of casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. and real estate broker Realogy Holdings Corp. A $360 million bet on the debt of a Rotterdam-based chemicals maker was losing money every day as the company spiraled toward default.