Hicks-backed metals company files $175m IPO

Latrobe Specialty Metals, purchased for $250m in 2006 by Hicks Holdings and The Watermill Group, intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LAT.

Latrobe Specialty Metals, backed by Hicks Holdings, The Watermill Group and Sankaty Advisors, has filed with the Securities Exchange Commission for a $175 million initial public offering.

Credit Suisse, FBR Capital Markets, Jefferies, KeyBanc Capital Markets and Cowen and Company are the underwriters.

Hicks and Watermill teamed up to buy Latrobe in late 2006 for $250 million, contributing $16 million and $15 million of equity in the deal, respectively. Hicks has retained a 51 percent ownership of the equity since the original transaction, while Watermill decreased its holdings to roughly 31 percent. Sankaty Advisors, the credit affiliate of Bain Capital, currently owns 15.9 percent stake of the equity.

While Hicks is not divesting its entire stake in the company, a source with knowledge of the situation told Private Equity International, it is unclear what percentage of his holdings are being offloaded in the IPO.

Latrobe intends to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LAT.

Hicks Holdings is a family investment vehicle of Thomas Hicks, the co-founder of the firm formerly called Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, with which Hicks is no longer affiliated. Hicks retired from Hicks Muse, now known as HM Capital Partners, at the end of 2004. He began investing with his own family fortune under Hicks Holdings in January 2005.

Hicks Holdings owns or has held ownership stakes in the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball, the Dallas Stars of the National Hockey League, and the Liverpool Football Club of the Premier League.