LPL registers its long-awaited IPO

Jun 4, 2010 @ 4:37 pm

By Bruce Kelly

After years of speculation, LPL Investment Holdings Inc. said today it registered its initial public stock offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The IPO is valued at $600 million, according to the SEC filing. Over the past decade, LPL has seen fantastic growth and is the largest independent contractor broker-dealer in the industry. In 2000, the firm had 3,569 advisers. It had 12,026 as of March 31.

In 2005, LPL took its first significant step to becoming a public company when it sold 60% of the privately held broker-dealer to two private-equity firms, Hellman & Friedman LLC of San Francisco and Texas Pacific Group of Fort Worth.

Mark Casady, LPL's CEO, was not available to comment Friday afternoon. In a statement, the company said it intends to use net proceeds from the offering for repaying debt. Market sources said the offering appeared to be imminent, depending on the SEC's approval.

Goldman Sachs & Co. and Morgan Stanley are the senior underwriters on the deal.

Shares are expected to be listed under the symbol LPLA.

For Ron Carson, a veteran LPL rep whose Carson Wealth Management Group is the largest LPLshareholder among advisers, the IPO marks how far the broker-dealer has come in the last two decades.

“I have seen the progression from day one, back when they were just Private Ledger,” he recalled. “It was questionable back in 1989 whether it would even survive another year. Now, they’re a powerhouse.”

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