Apollo Teams with Lazard in Europe

Apollo Management announced late today that it is forming a non-exclusive partnership with Lazard, to make European private equity investments.

In a brief press release, the firms said: “The strategic partnership will leverage both Lazard’s European presence and history of advising on merger and acquisitions transactions, and Apollo’s strong track record in private equity. Separately, Apollo and Lazard will continue to work with other financial advisory and private equity firms, respectively, in the ordinary course of business.”

A source close to Apollo says that the partnership is still a “work in progress,” but that both firms will have dedicated teams on the ground in London. The idea is that Apollo will provide private equity know-how, while Lazard will provide advisory services. No word yet on if investments will come out of Apollo’s existing $14 billion+ buyout fund, or from a new vehicle (Apollo Lazard European Partners I?).

Also unclear is exactly how this organization will work on a practical level. The firms explicitly said that this is a non-exclusive partnership, so some unique walls will need to be erected to avoid conflicts-of-interests. This is doubly true if Lazard ends up as a general or significant limited partner in a dedicated European fund. Not to say it can’t be managed, just that it’s tricky…

In other Apollo news, the firm today filed an amended S-1 with the SEC. The main change is a 7.5 million increase in the number of shares being registered. They are owned by Credit Suisse Management, and ups the proposed IPO size from around $417 million to around $522 million.