Detroit Free Press: Sam Levine on Quicken Loans IPO

If and when Quicken Loans launches an initial public offering this year, the event could upend the business pecking order in Detroit — at least in the eyes of Wall Street. With a potential valuation in the "tens of billions," according to a report by CNBC, the downtown-based mortgage giant could potentially exceed the market value of Ford Motor Co. ($25 billion)  and perhaps approach that of General Motors ($38 billion). In such a scenario, the Quicken IPO could be the moment that Detroit becomes as much the Mortgage City as it is the Motor City. At Quicken, those most likely to see big benefits from an IPO would be Gilbert, his investment partners and key employees, according to finance experts. Still, Quicken could give its rank-and-file employees an option to buy shares at the initial offering price.

"It’s very common for companies to invite their employees to participate," said Sam Levine, a finance instructor at Wayne State University's Mike Ilitch School of Business. "That is a terrific thing if the company's shares do pop.”

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