U.S. IPO Pipeline Continues To Swell With 11 New Filings This Month

by: Renaissance Capital IPO Research

No IPOs have priced yet in the month of September, but there has been no slowdown in filing activity, with 11 companies announcing their intentions to go public so far this month. The IPO pipeline now stands at a 10-year high with 206 companies, representing a potential $53 billion in capital to be raised. 70% of the companies in the pipeline have either submitted new or updated filings with the SEC in the last 90 days.

The batch of new filings includes three offerings expected to raise more than $1 billion, a testament to bankers' confidence in an eventual re-opening of the IPO window despite concerns of persistent market volatility.

AIG spinoff International Lease Finance Corporation, more commonly known as ILFC, is speculated to raise as much as $1.8 billion in its IPO, representing approximately 20% of the firm's rumored $8-10 billion valuation. ILFC, the world's largest independent aircraft leasing firm, would be following in the footsteps of peer Air Lease Group (NYSE:AL) (-23% return from IPO) which traded up in its April debut, but has since tumbled amid broader market turmoil.

Private equity giant Carlyle Group (CARL) is expected to raise $1 billion in its offering. Carlyle has backed some of the year's most prominent IPOs, including billion-dollar offerings from Nielsen Holdings (NYSE:NLSN) (+22%) and Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) (-15%).

FTS International (FTSI), formerly known as Frac-Tech Services, filed with the SEC to raise up to $1.15 billion in its IPO. The oil and natural gas stimulation services provider originally filed to go public in December 2010 but was acquired five months later by private equity firm RPJ Capital in a transaction that valued FTS at $5 billion.

This year has already seen five billion-dollar offerings from the aforementioned Nielsen Holdings and Kinder Morgan, Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX), HCA Holdings (NYSE:HCA) and Arcos Dorados (NYSE:ARCO). With the three new September additions, the IPO pipeline now includes eight potential $1 billion-plus IPOs, including daily deals site Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN), social game developer Zynga, GM-spinoff Ally Financial, telecom equipment maker Avaya (Pending:AVYA) and auto parts maker Delphi Automotive. If all these offerings price this year, 2011 could have 13 $1 billion-plus IPOs, the highest number in the post-bubble era.

Continuing a trend that began in 2010, financial sponsor-backed companies dominated this month's filings, accounting for six of the11 new IPO candidates. These companies include FTS International, drilling and pipeline equipment manufacturer Forum Energy Technologies (NYSE:FET), insurance Software-as-a-Service provider Guidewire Software (NYSE:GWRE), tax preparation services provider JTH Holding, home furnishings retailer Restoration Hardware and 4G wireless chip designer GCT Semiconductor (GCTS). The IPO backlog now includes 114 financial sponsor-backed companies, representing 55% of the total.

Rounding out September's filings are Sanchez Energy Partners-spinoff Sanchez Energy Corporation, newly formed REIT Ares Commercial Real Estate and Cash America-spinoff Enova, which provides online consumer lending services.