February Ends With 14 New U.S. IPOs, Most Since August 2012

by: Renaissance Capital IPO Research

Although February was a subpar month for IPO pricings, heavy filing activity and a rebuilding calendar offered encouraging signs for the U.S. IPO market. Last week's four initial IPO filings raised February's total to 14, the second-highest total since the JOBS Act enabled confidential filings in April 2012 and the highest total since August 2012. Three companies set terms, ending a three-week dry spell, and the first pricings since February 14 are expected next week.

Asset manager Artisan Partners sets terms
Last Tuesday, equities-focused investment manager Artisan Partners Asset Management (NYSE:APAM) set terms for a $322 million IPO. In 2012, its assets under managements increased 30% to $74 billion, and revenue increased 11% to $506 million. The company previously attempted to go public in 2011. The last equities-only investment company to set terms, Silvercrest Asset Management Group ($11 billion AUM), withdrew its $55 million offering in November 2012. Private equity firm Hellman & Friedman purchased a minority stake in 2006. Citi and Goldman Sachs are the joint bookrunners.

Long-anticipated IPO from Silver Spring Networks
Silver Spring Networks (NYSE:SSNI), which provides smart grid products and services to utilities, also set terms last week for a $63 million IPO. The company, which first filed in July 2011, is the market leader in the U.S., and it ended 2012 with a backlog of $745 million. Venture capital firms Foundation Capital and Kleiner Perkins will own 28% and 13% of post-IPO shares, respectively. Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse are the joint bookrunners; Morgan Stanley was dropped as lead bookrunner in January.

HF2 Financial Management (HTWO), a blank check company formed to acquire a financial services company, set terms for a $153 million IPO. In 2006, the company's management team led the $47 million IPO of Highbury Financial, which was acquired by Affiliated Managers Group (NYSE:AMG) in 2010. EarlyBird Capital is the sole bookrunner on the deal.

Four companies added to the pipeline
Masonite International (MASWF.PK), a leading global designer and manufacturer of doors, filed to raise $150 million. The Canadian company, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009, sold approximately 31 million doors in 2012, mostly in North America. Backers include Oaktree Capital (NYSE:OAK), Mount Kellett Capital Management and Centerbridge Partners. Deutsche Bank, Barclays and BofA Merrill Lynch are the joint bookrunners.

KNOT Offshore Partners LP (NYSE:KNOP), a recently formed LP that will own, operate and acquire shuttle tankers under long-term charters, filed to raise $100 million. The company's initial fleet will consist of four tankers contributed by Knutsen NYK Offshore Tankers, and it will have an option to purchase four additional tankers. BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi are the joint bookrunners.

Independent Bank Group (NASDAQ:IBTX), which has 30 banking offices in the Dallas-Fort Worth, TX area, filed for a $92 million IPO. The last regional bank to go public, ConnectOne Bancorp (NASDAQ:CNOB), raised $45 million on February 11, 2013 and is up 4% from its offer price. Sandler O'Neill, Evercore Partners and Keefe Bruyette Woods are the joint bookrunners.

RCS Capital (NYSE:RCAP), a newly organized wholesale broker-dealer, filed to raise $86 million. The company holds a leading position in the real estate direct investment program industry, with a 28% market share measured by equity raised. Ladenburg Thalmann and Realty Capital Securities are the joint bookrunners.

Active US IPO pipeline still holds more than 50 deals
The total US IPO pipeline now consists of 113 companies looking to raise $31 billion. Just under half have released updates within the past six months, and 35 companies have released updated filings since February 1. Recent filers include Aviv REIT (NYSE:AVIV) and Fairway Group (NASDAQ:FWM), both of which released financial results through 2012 last week.

Mixed performance in February
February's eight deals (vs. 12 in January) were mostly small (seven raised less than $125 million) and had mixed performance. Three deals traded up more than 25%, but three others ended the month below their offer prices. Half of the deals had negative aftermarket returns, and the average aftermarket return of -2% (vs. 1% year-to-date) trailed the major indicies. The average total return for the month was 12% (vs. 14% YTD).

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