Rocket to raise $1.8 billion in downsized initial public offering

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Rocket Companies Inc., the parent of the mortgage giant founded by billionaire Dan Gilbert, priced shares in its shrunken initial public offering to raise $1.8 billion.

That compares with the $3.3 billion offering the Detroit-based company had shot for earlier.

Rocket, which operates Quicken Loans and Rocket Mortgage, sold 100 million shares for $18 each, according to a statement. Rocket had earlier filed to sell 150 million shares at $20 to $22 each.

The diminished ambitions for the listing came as investors pushed back on the company's valuation, believing it should be priced as a consumer or financial company rather than a technology business, one of the people said.

The downsizing may signal the IPO market's rebound is straining as the coronavirus pandemic deepens across much of the U.S. Since mid-March, only one major listing, supermarket chain Albertsons Cos., has priced below a marketed range, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Companies have raised about $61 billion through first-time share sales on U.S. exchanges this year, compared with $50 billion for the same period in 2019, the data shows. That includes a record amount for so-called blank-check companies, $24 billion, almost double the volume for all of 2019.

Rocket describes itself as the largest retail mortgage lender in the U.S. Gilbert, who founded Quicken Loans in 1985, will retain 79% of the voting power of the company's common stock through controlling entities, the filings show.

Gilbert, who was chief executive officer of Quicken Loans until 2002, is also the owner of the National Basketball Association's Cleveland Cavaliers. He has a net worth of $8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Rocket's offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Royal Bank of Canada. The shares are expected to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol RKT.

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