It is midsummer's day and Sweden is very hot - in terms of IPOs, at least. Five IPOs have launched on Stockholm-based exchanges today, including two offerings by medtech companies. Bonesupport, which makes bone grafts impregnated with anti-infectives, and Sedana Medical, which makes pumps for delivering anesthetics, have raised $57m and $13m respectively.
"It's a slightly unusual day," says Richard Davies, Bonesupport's chief executive. "There's definitely a sort of liquidity to the market - I can only speak from the healthcare side - that likes these life sciences companies." And the day is even more unusual considering how few IPOs have gone out so far in 2017 - only six, three of which have been in Sweden (see table).
So quiet has the IPO scene been this year that Bonesupport's is the largest, more than twice the size of second-place Visioneering Technologies, which went out on the Australian exchange in March.
The right time
The company wants to boost its US growth - it has three orthobiologics on the market in Europe but only one in the US (Bonesupport fills the void with $37m, October 27, 2016). It also needs cash for its US approval trial of Cerament G, a bone void filler designed to elute gentamycin to promote healing. This is on track to permit an FDA filing in 2020, with approval in 2021.
Of course, it could have drummed up cash via a venture round - Bonesupport has raised $72m in VC cash since 2006, according to EvaluateMedTech. But the welcoming nature of the Swedish exchanges at the moment had not gone unnoticed.
"We felt this was the right time for our company. The market in Sweden is open to companies like ours," says Mr. Davies. "We're Swedish, our founder is Swedish and our investors predominantly have been Swedish. So for us it was the right place to go - a market that seems to appreciate the growth prospects we have."
At SEK29 per share, the deal will confer a market capitalization of SEK1.4bn ($162m) on Bonesupport if the over-allotment option is fully used. Sweden generally sees relatively high activity from retail investors, but over 60% of Bonesupport's shares have gone to institutions.
Mr. Davies says this is not an unusually high proportion. The cornerstone investor Swedbank Robur was joined by the company's existing venture capital owners, he says. "It feels like that's a good mix because the development timelines within healthcare, for businesses like us, are relatively long."
Today's other Swedish medtech IPO, on the alternative Nasdaq First North exchange, is that of Sedana Medical, which makes a device called AnaConDa. This stands for - almost - anesthetic conserving device; it is designed to administer volatile anesthetics such as isoflurane or sevoflurane to invasively ventilated patients. The other three are Momentum, a spin-out of the industrial and construction equipment firm B&B Tools, and real estate companies Trianon and Quartiers Properties.
These groups were pre-empted by Integrum, whose tiny $2m IPO was launched on Nasdaq First North in May. The company makes bone-anchored prostheses, such as artificial legs, for amputees.
All of which means Stockholm has seen three IPOs so far this year, worth $72m in total, to three in the entire rest of the world worth a total of $40m. Stockholm is not the new New York, but Swedish medtech companies looking for cash might want to seize their chance to raise money right on their doorstep.