In March 2011, Leon Black’s Apollo Global Management (APO) conducted its long-awaited initial public offering. The IPO priced at $19 a share, raising $565 million, and the stock promptly sunk. It dropped on the first day of trading and through 2011. At one point Apollo’s shares traded hands for less than $10 and ended last year down 34%.
Apollo’s IPO seemed to confirm investors’ worst fears about the stocks being sold by the buyout billionaires in their private equity firms. The disappointing debut of Apollo’s stock had followed the very poor-performing IPOs of The Blackstone Group (BX) and Fortress Investment Group (FIG), two alternative asset managers that went public at the absolute height of the market.