Monday, March 8, 1999

partners vote to
take firm public

Corzine will resign as
co-chairman after
the share sale

Bloomberg News


NEW YORK -- Goldman Sachs Group LP partners voted "overwhelmingly" to sell shares in the Wall Street investment bank as early as May, converting the 130-year-old firm into a public company expected to be worth $24 billion.

Jon Corzine will resign as co-chairman after the share sale, the firm said today. Corzine, 52, stepped down as co-chief executive two months ago after Goldman pulled its initial public offering in September as financial stocks plunged and the firm racked up bond-trading losses. Henry Paulson will be sole chairman.

After the IPO, Goldman will become the third-largest U.S. securities firm behind Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., which has a $56.5 billion market value, and Merrill Lynch & Co., valued at $30.7 billion.

"We are taking this step to secure permanent capital to grow, to share ownership broadly among our employees now and through future compensation and to permit us to use publicly traded securities to finance strategic acquisitions," Corzine and Paulson said in a statement.

New York-based Goldman plans to raise between $2.5 billion and $3 billion from the stock sale, said sources familiar with the firm. It will use most of the money to boost its $6.3 billion in equity capital and the rest to retire about $755 million in private debt held by institutions, they said.

The equity sales excludes the roughly $1.5 billion in the stakes held by Japan's Sumitomo Bank and Hawaii's Kamehameha Schools/Bishop Estate, the sources said.

Bishop Estate has invested about $500 million in Goldman Sachs and now owns an estimated 10 percent stake in the company.

Goldman said a registration statement for the offering is expected to be filed March 16, which could provide profit figures the private partnership hasn't made public in the past.

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