Paris-based investment bank


expects to raise up to $823 million in a soon-to-be-completed initial public offering.

The IPO from Lazard is one of the most eagerly anticipated in the financial services sector in several years. The public offering is the culmination of a long battle by Bruce Wasserstein, the firm's leader, to take Lazard public.

In a regulatory filing Monday, Lazard said it plans to sell 30.5 million shares for $25 to $27 a share. The company plans to trade on the

New York Stock Exchange

under the ticker symbol LAZ.

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

is the lead underwriter on the offering. Other investment banks on the deal include


(C) - Get Report


Merrill Lynch



Morgan Stanley



Much of the proceeds from the offering will be used by Lazard to buy out the equity interests of the firm's historical partners.

The 156-year-old investment firm announced plans to go public last December.