Lackluster IPO may cause concern for future PE firms thinking about public offerings for their companies.

Less than 19 months after being taken private by Apollo Global Management, ADT Inc. is back on the New York Stock Exchange and the security firms return to the public market is anything but a smooth or graceful transition from private equity.


Apollo bought out ADT for merely $12.3 billion via a calculated maneuver as a strategic buyer, which is becoming a more common industry practice. As with any buy out there was some risk involved and Apollo banked on successfully merging ADT with two smaller, less prominent players, Protection 1 and Alarm Security Group LLC, both of whom Apollo had absorbed in July 2015.

ADT’s public offering did not involve Apollo selling any of their shares, so the transition is technically not an exit. The $14 price point amounted to ADT raising roughly $1.6 Billion, which values the company in the neighborhood of $10.6 Billion before factoring in roughly $10 Billion in debt. This is well below the $2 Billion the company would have raised at the midpoint of its expected range.

ADT isn’t the only IPO in the spotlight so far this year. PagSeguro Digital, a Brazilian payment processor, has also entered the public sphere at $21.50 per share, which surpassed their projected range of $17.50 to $20.50. In the event ADT trades up in the short term, private equity firms are more likely to take their businesses public.

In less than three years, Apollo raked in a return about 2.3 times their initial investment in the trio of home-security companies, which amounts to a paper profit of $2.4 billion at the IPO price. However, the long-term success of the IPO is critical for Apollo since they will retain the majority of their shares after the initial offering.

ADT’s IPO may influence the behavior and expectations of some private-equity firms in terms of the potential valuations for the portfolio companies primed to go public. Regardless of record peaks in the market, numerous firms have opted to sell their companies in leu of pursuing an IPO due to the risk derived from potential market downturn prior to unloading their remaining shares.

While ADT is back on the public market, Protect America remains privately owned and provides affordable home security for almost 50% less per month than ADT.