CB Richard Ellis Registers for IPO

Real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis filed papers Tuesday with the SEC to raise $150 million through an IPO. The initial filing did not denote the number or price of the shares the firm plans to offer.

CBRE backer Blum Capital took the brokerage private back in 2001. Last year, the firm bought New York City brokerage Insignia/ESG for $431 million, which left CBRE with roughly $800 million worth of debt. The CBRE filing comes at a time when many firms are entering the public market and confidence in Wall Street is soaring. Still, public real estate brokerages have not historically fared well. For Blum Capital, however, that may be less important than recouping much of its investment in the firm.

CBRE says in the filing that it plans to proceeds from the offering to redeem the remaining $38.3 million worth of its 16% senior notes that expire in 2011. The remainder of the money raised will go towards "other corporate purposes, including repayment of other debt." The IPO will likely involve shares offered by the company directly and secondary shares offered by Blum Capital.

The filing also mentions that CBRE is "highly leveraged" with an interest bill of $63 million for the first nine months of 2003. Credit Suisse First Boston and Citigroup are joint-book runners on the IPO.

CBRE is the largest real estate brokerage in the world with 13,500 employees and 220 offices.

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