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With five new deals added to the upcoming IPO calendar over the last week, the US IPO market is showing further signs of opening up, setting the stage for what could be the most active pricing period for IPOs since the end of 2007, when 10 deals went public in a single week. The newly-added IPOs are:

  • Foursquare Capital ($500 million deal size), a newly formed mortgage REIT backed by US asset manager AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB)
  • Shanda Games Limited ($725 million), a carveout of the majority business of leading online Chinese game developer and operator Shanda Interactive (NASDAQ: SNDA)
  • Ladder Capital Realty Finance ($400 million), another newly formed mortgage REIT focused on investing in distressed commercial real estate
  • Echo Global Logistics ($80 million), a provider of technology-enables shipping and freight management services
  • Talecris Biotherapeutics ($850 million), one of the world's largest manufacturers of plasma-derived protein therapies for treating chronic and acute diseases

A sixth pending offering filed pricing terms on Thursday - Omeros Therapeutics, a biotech focused on inflammation/pain and disorders of the central nervous system. Although the company has yet to set an official pricing date, the deal is likely to be added to the IPO calendar soon. If successful, Omeros stands to be the first true US-listed biotechnology IPO since a small offering by Bioheart (OTCQB:BHRT) in February 2008 (a 20 month hiatus!). Bioheart, which is focused on development therapies for chonic and acute heart damage, went public at $5.25 per share but currently trades at just over $2 per share. Given the risk profile of most biotechs, Omeros’ offering will offer a strong gauge of investors’ appetite for risk.

In total, there are now currently 11 IPOs scheduled to price over the next two weeks (or 12 if Omeros is added), eight of which are slated for the week of Sep. 21.

New IPO filing activity also gains momentum

After coming to a complete standstill in mid 2008 and continuing through the first quarter of 2009, the IPO market has shown small pockets of activity since April 2009 but has yet to return to historical norms. However, this pronounced resurgence in the upcoming IPO calendar is a very encouraging sign and demonstrates increased confidence on the part of underwriters and investors alike. We have already seen an uptick in IPO filings over the last few months (there were 33 new IPO filings since July 1, up from 14 during 1H09), and we expect this trend to continue to build momentum over the coming months.

With the two new IPO filings so far this week (KAR Holdings and Anthera Pharmaceuticals), September 2009 is the first month to show a year-over-year increase in new IPO filings in 20 months (January 2008). Month to date, nine new companies have already entered the US IPO pipeline, up from seven for the entire month of September 2008.

The latest uptick in IPO filing activity marked the end of the longest stretch of declining monthly new IPO filings since the tech bubble burst, when US IPO filings declined for 22 consecutive months from May 2000 to Feb 2002. We recently published a more in-depth analysis of the IPO pipeline and outlook for the IPO market in our special report entitled "Financial Crisis Shapes US IPO Rebound".

$4.8 billion to be raised over the next two weeks

Nearly $5 billion in total capital is set to be raised among the 11 upcoming deals, which also represents a meaningful increase from recent months. US IPOs have raised a total of $5 billion since the beginning of 2009, which means the amount of US IPO dollar volume is set to double to $9.8 billion over the next two and a half weeks. While the year-to-date tally is still far cry from historical IPO levels, the expected dollar volume of US listings to be completed over the next two and half weeks alone is the most that the market has seen in a single month in nearly two years (excluding Visa's record IPO in March 2008) and is greater than the average monthly volume levels achieved prior to the financial crisis from 2005-07 ($3.9 billion average monthly US IPO volume).

While a large portion of the pending IPO dollar volume is originating from the specialty finance sector in the form of newly formed mortgage REITs (four plan to raise a total of $1.9 billion), the remaining IPO line-up is well diversified in terms of industry and growth profile. The most notable upcoming IPOs are provided below, but our complete up-to-date IPO calendar including pricing terms and underwriters is provided on our web site.

Snapshot of the non-REIT IPOs slated to price in the coming two weeks:

Company Name Ticker Business Underwriter
Vitacost.com VITC Online retailer of nutritional supplements and health/wellness products. Jefferies
A123 Systems AONE Makes lithiom ion batteries and battery systems for cars and trucks. Morgan Stanley
Artio Global Investors ART Carve out of Juius Baer's US asset management business. Goldman Sachs
Select Medical SEM Operates specialty hospitals and rehab centers. Goldman Sachs
Shanda Games GAME Spinoff of Shanda Interactive's online games division in China. Goldman Sachs
Talecris Biotherapeutics TLCR Manufacturer of plasma-derived protein therapies. Morgan Stanley

Source: RenaissanceCapital.com

Disclosure: No positions

Source: 11 New U.S.-listed IPO Deals Coming Up