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Gabelli going ahead with IPO


The tough stock market for money management firms has not deterred Mario Gabelli's firm from its plan to go public. Gabelli Asset Management Inc. filed an amended registration statement Wednesday to conduct an initial public offering. Gabelli stands to receive a special $50 million payment in about three years as part of the deal.

Also last week, Neuberger & Berman LLC said it had cancelled plans for its IPO, citing the current volatile markets. Despite the cancellation, Neuberger & Berman will go forward with a family of load funds and other business plans, said chief administrative officer Jeffrey Lane. "We're a well capitalized" firm, Lane said.

In its registration statement, Neuberger & Berman of New York, a no-load firm, said that it would start a load fund family, upgrade its website so that investors could transact business directly online and hire additional staff to serve its high-net-worth customers.

Goldman Sachs & Co., the underwriter for the Neuberger & Berman IPO, decided two weeks ago to halt its own IPO plans.

Gabelli's firm, based in Rye, New York, filed its registration statement in April but did not identify who would serve as underwriter. (MFMN 5/4).

Last week's registration amended statement identified Merrill Lynch & Co. and Salomon Smith Barney as managers. The statement did not include how much Gabelli hopes to raise or when the IPO will go forward. A Gabelli official did not return a call seeking comment.

The amended registration statement calls for Gabelli to receive a deferred payment of $50 million on Jan. 2, 2002 as part of an employment agreement.

Gabelli has agreed to reduce a pre-tax management fee he has received in the past from 20 percent to 10 percent, according to the filing.