Apollo-Backed Athene Delays IPO Plan While Seeking CFO

  • Insurer tied to Leon Black's Apollo plans IPO filing for 2016
  • Filing delayed from November, while bringing reporting to-date

Athene Holding Ltd., the insurer with ties to Apollo Global Management LLC, is pushing back a plan to file for an initial public offering as the company seeks a chief financial officer.

The venture expects to file an initial prospectus in early 2016 with a deadline of June 30, according to a statement Tuesday by AP Alternative Assets, a publicly traded investment vehicle managed by Apollo, and Athene’s largest shareholder. The firm had previously set a deadline of Nov. 30. Results for the quarter ended Sept. 30 will be included in the filing next year, the company said.

Athene said in February it would spend the year improving financial reporting after disclosing material weaknesses tied to reserves and taxes, stemming from the acquisition of a Aviva Plc business in 2013. The insurer is also seeking a permanent CFO after Brenda Cushing said in May that she’s departing. The firm hired former MetLife Inc. executive William Wheeler as president to help guide the IPO.

“We’ve determined it’s in our best interest to target a filing early next year,” Chief Executive Officer Jim Belardi said in a conference call. “We continue to make very good progress on our CFO search. It’s a top priority for us and when there’s something to report, we won’t hesitate.”

AP Alternative fell 2.4 percent in Amsterdam trading, the biggest decline since May.

Takeover Spree

Athene completed an acquisition of German subsidiaries of Delta Lloyd NV on Oct. 1, adding about $6 billion of assets to the insurer’s balance sheet. The Bermuda-based company had $59.3 billion of investments and $80.6 billion in total assets as of June 30, according to the presentation.

Net income in the six months ended June 30 climbed to $228 million from $135 million in the first half of 2014. The insurer’s takeover spree has made it one of the largest annuities companies in the U.S.

The IPO delay could allow Athene to reassess market conditions after a volatile period for U.S. equities. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index tumbled 3.9 percent on Aug. 24 amid concerns about the Chinese economy. In September, the Federal Reserve delayed raising interest rates, prompting worries that an eventual increase could further rattle markets.

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