EQT Partners, the Nordic region’s biggest private equity firm, has added Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley to a lineup of banks advising on its strategic review, which may lead to an initial public offering, people familiar with the matter said.
EQT is also considering selling a minority stake in the firm to a strategic investor as an alternative to the IPO, the people said, asking not to be identified as the discussions are private. The company was already working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Sweden’s SEB AB on its review, people familiar with the matter said in January.
An IPO could value the firm at about 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) and EQT may list a 25 percent stake in the business to raise about 1 billion euros, the people said. The firm will decide whether to list or sell a minority stake in the first half of the year, they said.
The buyout firm is also planning to add more banks to the syndicate, the people said. No final decisions have been made and EQT could also decide against a transaction, the people said. Representatives for EQT, Goldman and Morgan Stanley declined to comment.
Dyal Capital Partners, which buys minority equity stakes in asset managers, is among investors that have shown interest in EQT, the people said. Dyal, with more than $15 billion in assets under management, has stakes in Bridgepoint, Cerberus Capital Management’s credit arm and Vista Equity Partners, according to its website. A representative for Dyal declined to comment.
EQT may seek to benchmark itself against listed peers including Partners Group Holding AG or Hamilton Lane Inc., according to the people.
Partners Group trades at about 26 times earnings and its Zurich-listed shares have gained 26 percent this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Hamilton Lane trades at 18 times earnings and its U.S.-listed stock has risen about 28 percent in 2019, the data show.
EQT has raised more than 60 billion euros since it was started about 25 years ago. Investor AB, founded by the wealthy Wallenberg family, is the firm’s anchor investor with an ownership of about 10 percent in its most recent funds, according to the company’s website.