Ares Management LP, the first alternative-asset manager to go public in two years, fell in its trading debut after pricing its initial public offering below the marketed range.

Ares dropped 4.5 percent to $18.14 as of 9:49 a.m. in New York. The firm, which oversees $74 billion in credit and private-equity assets, raised $216 million by selling the shares for $19 apiece.

The initial public offering is the first test of investors’ appetite for a private-equity company since Carlyle Group LP’s $671 million share sale two years ago. Los Angeles-based Ares is touting a model that’s more focused on predictable management fees than its peers, which derive a greater percentage of revenue from incentives.

Ares was co-founded in 1997 by Tony Ressler, who’s now chief executive officer and will have a net worth of about $1.5 billion, owning 31 percent of the company, after the offering, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Ressler and co- founder John Kissick named Ares after the Greek god of war.

Ares oversees $10 billion of private equity, $9 billion in real estate and $55 billion in direct lending and tradable credit, its prospectus shows. The company posted $478.7 million in fee revenue last year, up 43 percent from 2012.

Samsonite, GNC

The stock will be listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ARES and will start trading today.

In the past 10 years, Ares has bought more than 20 companies, including luggage maker Samsonite Corp., vitamin seller GNC Holdings Inc., budget chain 99 Cents Only Stores and luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc., which it acquired in October for $6 billion in its largest-ever deal.

Following the offering, Ares will be considered a partnership, limiting common stockholders’ voting rights and their ability to remove or elect directors of the general partnership, its prospectus shows. Aresplans to use the proceeds from the IPO to repay outstanding debt and fund growth initiatives at the company.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which had planned to offer 6.8 million shares in the IPO, according to an April regulatory filing, didn’t end up selling the shares, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. managed the sale.

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