The U.S. IPO market just had the best quarter in three years


The U.S. IPO market had its best quarter by proceeds in three years, according to the IPO research company Renaissance Capital.

That kind of momentum has seemingly set the stage for some big names in tech to march onto the public market in the second quarter.

Forty-three companies raised a collective $15.6 billion through their IPOs, says Renaissance, though not all were tech deals. One was the IPO of security company ADT, which had been taken private in early 2016 in a $6.9 billion leveraged buyout by the private equity group Apollo Global Management. As MarketWatch noted at the time of ADT’s January IPO, Apollo continues to own a majority of the company’s shares, meaning it’s a “controlled company” where Apollo is still basically in charge.

Another big, non-tech IPO was that of Hudson, operator of the Hudson “travel essentials” and bookstores found at airports across the U.S. and Canada. Hudson is also a controlled company that remains majority owned by a parent company, Dufry AG of Switzerland. In fact, Dufry earmarked all the proceeds from Hudson’s IPO ($750 million) to pay down its own debt.

Neither of their IPOs performed terribly well. Hudson priced at the low end of its proposed range and its shares started to sink almost immediately. ADT’s shares are also trading below their offering price.

As Renaissance notes, three companies that went public and performed much better are the biotechs Menlo Therapeutics and ARMO BioSciences, and the cybersecurity company Zcaler.

Menlo is a seven-year-old, Redwood City, Calif.-based drug developer focused on severe skin itching and chronic cough, and demand for its shares was such that it increased its proposed IPO terms from offering 5.7 million shares at $14 to $16, to offering 6.5 million shares at $16 to $17. Those shares are now trading at roughly $37.

ARMO BioSciences is a four-year-old, Red

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