BankUnited Financial has filed for a $300 million IPO with Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch, Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs serving as underwriters. The bank intends to list on the NYSE under the symbol BKU and to use the net proceeds for general corporate purposes. BankUnited has been backed by several PE investors, including W.L. Ross & Co. (23.5%), The Blackstone Group (23.5%), The Carlyle Group (23.5%) and Centerbridge Partners (18.4%), since a $900 million LBO in May 2009.
Since the beginning of 2008, PE Investors have exited 40 companies in the Financial Services industry, according to the PitchBook Platform. With two months still left and 15 exits in the books, 2010 has already surpassed 2009's 12 exits and 2008's 13. The median deal size this year of $270.1 million is lower than 2008's $347.5 million, but it's still a step up from last year's $250 million. Selling to corporations has overwhelmingly been the exit method of choice for PE investors since the start of 2008, accounting for 70% of the industry's total exit activity. Representing only 5%, secondary transactions are the least popular, but that doesn't mean PE investors aren't buying companies. They're simply not buying them from each other. In fact, 195 PE investors have invested in the industry during the same time period. The most active include Stone Point Capital (16 deals), Parthenon Capital Partners (14), Aquiline Capital Partners (12), Lightyear Capital (10) and TPG Capital (10).