Private equity firms continue their IPO binge. Nutritional supplement retailer GNC, which is owned by the private equity firm Apollo Management, filed updated pricing information on Monday for a planned $400 million initial public offering. In the offering, Apollo, which acquired GNC for $750 million in 2003, intends to sell 14.1 million shares at a price of $16 to $18 a share. The offering will also include the sale of another 9.4 million shares, much of which will go to redeem GNC's preferred stock, which is worth about $100 million. If the IPO prices at $17 a share, Apollo will receive about $240 million. The private equity firm, which has invested $13 billion since 1990, will still own a little over 50% of GNC after the offering. Apollo joins a slew of other private equity firms that are cashing out of other popular retailing names this year. Recently, Merrill Lynch ( MER), Carlyle and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice filed for a $1 billion IPO of Hertz, the rental car company. In May, Pacific Group, Bain Capital and Goldman Sachs ( GS) sold out of a $425 million stake in fast-food restaurant operator Burger King ( BKC). Apollo bought GNC from Netherlands-based Royal Numico in October 2003. At the time, Numico was disappointed with GNC's performance, and since Apollo invested in the firm, GNCs business hasn't improved much. The company's revenue had declined over the last three years, according to the IPO prospectus. In 2005, GNC had $1.32 billion in revenue, down from $1.43 billion in 2003. But that's not the only concern for prospective shareholders. As with many private-equity-led IPOs, GNC initially will be exempt from a series of corporate governance controls that are designed to protect shareholders. Until Apollo's ownership stake in GNC falls below 50%, the Pittsburgh-based company will qualify as a so-called "controlled company" under New York Stock Exchange rules. And a controlled company is exempt from some of the NYSE's corporate governance standards. Specifically, GNC will not be required to have an independent corporate governance or a compensation committee. "As a result of our use of the controlled company exemptions, you will not have the same protection afforded to stockholders of companies that are subject to all of the NYSE corporate governance requirements," the filing said. Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers ( LEH) and UBS ( UBS) will underwrite the IPO. GNC will trade under the ticker GNC.