Apollo-controlled EP Energy IPO below expected range: underwriter

Thu Jan 16, 2014 6:44pm EST

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(Reuters) - Oil and gas company EP Energy Corp, controlled by private equity firm Apollo Global Management LLC (APO.N), raised about $704 million in an initial public offering after its shares priced at $20, an underwriter told Reuters.

The company priced its IPO of 35.2 million shares way below its expected price range of $23 to $27 per share. Based on the number of outstanding shares, EP Energy would be valued at about $5 billion.

The IPO marks an unusually fast exit by private equity player Apollo Global Management, LLC, highlighting its eagerness to capitalize on high oil prices and strong equity markets.

The shares of Antero Resources Corp (AR.N), controlled by Warburg Pincus, have risen about 30 percent since the oil and gas producer went public in October.

Buyout firms typically hold portfolio companies for between three to seven years before seeking an IPO. Apollo bought EP Energy from Kinder Morgan Inc (KMI.N) for $7.15 billion in the largest private equity deal of 2012.

Kinder Morgan had previously acquired the business as part of its $21 billion takeover of El Paso.

EP Energy intends to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "EPE."

Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs are among the lead underwriters for the IPO.

(Reporting by Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore and Michael Erman in New York. Editing by Andre Grenon)

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