U.S. IPO Week Ahead: AXA Equitable Targets $3.5 Billion In Largest IPO Since 2014

Includes: ABP, EQH, EVLO, HUYA
by: Renaissance Capital IPO Research

Headlined by AXA Equitable's $3.5 billion offering, five companies are scheduled to raise nearly $4 billion in the week ahead. Other deals include Chinese e-sports platform Huya, early-stage biotechs Evelo Biosciences and Abpro, and Louisiana-based Origin Bancorp.

U.S. IPO Calendar


Deal Size
Market Cap

Price Range
Shares Filed



Evelo Biosciences (NASDAQ:EVLO)
Cambridge, MA


$15 - $17


Morgan Stanley

Early-stage biotech developing microbial gut therapies for inflammatory diseases.

Origin Bancorp (NASDAQ:OBNK)
Ruston, LA


$33 - $35


Raymond James

Community bank focused on commercial lending in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.

AXA Equitable (NYSE:EQH)
New York, NY


$24 - $27


Morgan Stanley
JP Morgan

US operations of life insurance and asset management firm AXA.

Woburn, MA


$14 - $16


Wells Fargo

Preclinical biotech developing novel antibodies for various cancers.

Guangzhou, China


$10 - $12


Credit Suisse
Goldman (Asia)

Live streaming platform for video games and e-sports spun out of China's YY.

AXA Equitable Holdings, the US operations of French life insurer and asset manager AXA, aims to raise $3.5 billion at a $14.3 billion market value. That would make it the largest IPO since Alibaba (NYSE:BABA) in September 2014. AXA Equitable is well capitalized and benefits from strong market positions in its key US segments. It also has broad distribution capabilities through its AXA and AllianceBernstein advisor network. However, peers have not traded well in recent months and the company has a complex structure.

Huya, a gaming and e-sports platform being spun out of China's YY (NASDAQ:YY), is targeting $165 million at a $2.4 billion valuation. The company benefits from its leading market share (87 million MAUs; $345 million in 2017 sales), fast growth (175% in 2017) and clear path to profitability. That said, it competes with Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY)-backed Douyu and will rely on parent YY post-IPO for some core services. We note that the company is floating less than 8% of its market cap.

Evelo Biosciences, which aims to raise $85 million at a $563 million market value, is developing microbial gut therapies for inflammatory diseases. For its psoriasis and atopic dermatitis candidates, the company expects Phase 1 data next year. For its oncology product candidate, Evelo expects to begin various clinical trials in the 2H18 and 1H19, and report clinical data in 2020.

Abpro, another early-stage biotech, aims to raise $60 million at a $305 million valuation. The company is developing novel antibody therapeutics and its two lead candidates are targeting solid tumors and vascular eye diseases. Preclinical mouse trial data has been promising; however, the company has yet to test its antibodies in humans - expected in 2019.

Origin Bancorp, a Louisiana-based community bank, aims to raise $124 million at a market value of $756 million. Origin has strong market share in its low-cost northern Louisiana markets and has grown total assets at a 19% CAGR since 2003. That said, growth has slowed in recent years and its efficiency ratio worsened from 72% in 2016 to 82% in 2017. Insiders are selling 31% of the deal.

IPO Market Snapshot

The Renaissance IPO Indices are market cap weighted baskets of newly public companies. The Renaissance IPO Index has returned -0.36% year-to-date, while the S&P 500 is down -0.38%. Renaissance Capital's IPO ETF (NYSE: IPO) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include Spotify (NYSE:SPOT) and Snap (NYSE:SNAP). The Renaissance International IPO Index is down -1.1% year-to-date, while the ACWX is flat. Renaissance Capital's International IPO ETF (NYSE: IPOS) tracks the index, and top ETF holdings include Orsted (DONG Energy) and Samsung BioLogics.