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Apollo third-quarter earnings drop as CEO faces heat from investors - Metro US

Apollo third-quarter earnings drop as CEO faces heat from investors

FILE PHOTO: Leon Black, chairman, CEO and director, Apollo Global Management, LLC, speaks at the Milken Institute's 21st Global Conference in Beverly Hills

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Apollo Global Management Inc, the private equity firm under investor scrutiny over CEO Leon Black’s ties with late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, reported an 8% drop in third-quarter distributable earnings on Thursday.

Distributable earnings (DE) – the cash available for paying dividends to shareholders – fell to $205.1 million from $222.5 million a year earlier, as a big rise in profit in Apollo’s credit businesses was not enough to offset a steep drop in its private equity and real estate divisions.

This translated to DE per share of 47 cents, underperforming Wall Street analysts’ average forecast of 49 cents, according to data from Refinitiv.

Apollo said last week it would launch an independent review of Black’s payments of between $50 million and $75 million to Epstein over the last decade, as some of the firm’s investors issued statements for the first time expressing concerns.

Black wrote to Apollo’s fund investors last week that he regretted payments to Epstein for what he called “professional services,” but has denied any wrongdoing or inappropriate conduct related to his business and social ties with him.

The 69-year-old private equity veteran said the payments were for advice on estate planning, taxes and philanthropy.

The New York-based firm said on Thursday the value of its credit funds appreciated 3.7% in aggregate in the third quarter, with its private equity portfolio rising 8%. Its real estate, principal finance and infrastructure funds climbed 3.4% in aggregate.

Blackstone Group Inc, the world’s largest private equity firm, reported a 9% rise in third-quarter distributable earnings on Wednesday, while its private equity portfolio appreciated by 12.2%.

Carlyle Group Inc reported a smaller-than-expected 6% drop in its third-quarter distributable earnings on Thursday, with its overall fund portfolio rising 5% during the quarter.

Apollo said total assets under management rose to $433.1 billion as of the end of September, up from $414 billion three months earlier. The firm ended the quarter with $45.8 billion in unspent capital.

The firm said it would pay a quarterly dividend of 51 cents a share.

(This story has been refiled to correct to “underperforming” from “exceeding” in third paragraph)

(Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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