Established 1986

American Capital— a legacy remembered.

Malon Wilkus
Malon Wilkus

"What we’re doing is making it possible for the average American to share in private equity’s benefits."


American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originated, underwrote and managed investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance and structured products.

A publicly traded private equity and global asset management firm, trading on NASDAQ under the symbol “ACAS” from 1997 to 2017 with over $100 billion of assets under management.

Founded in 1986, American Capital went public in August 1997 at $15.00 per share, raising $155 million, making it the first private equity firm to go public in the United States. American Capital was sold on January 3rd, 2017 for $4.1 billion or $18.06 per share. Adjusted for a stock dividend paid in 2009, which had the effect of a stock split, the $18.06 per share selling price translates to approximately $23.50 a share when compared to its share price at the time of its IPO. In addition, during its time as a public company, American Capital paid $30.32 per share in dividends.

For those investors who bought American Capital stock in its 1997 IPO, and held their shares through the sale of American Capital, they received a 14% compounded annual return including dividends (not reinvested). This compares favorably to the 10% return made by investors in shares of Berkshire Hathaway over the same period. It wasn’t just investors in its IPO who outperformed the market. For a stockholder who invested in one share of ACAS at its IPO and one share of ACAS on January first of each of the 19 years it was public and held the shares through to the sale on January 3rd, 2017, 70% of those 20 investments would have outperformed the S&P 500 Financial Sector over the same time periods.

These results were achieved through two recessions, including the Great Recession. From the time of its IPO through 2015, American Capital produced a 16% Economic Return, that is, a 16% growth in its book value plus dividends paid. And, despite the Great Recession, the $5 billion American Capital invested in the equity of its One Stop Buyouts produced a 16% compounded annual return.

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