NEW YORK, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Is the IPO winter finally easing?
A year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an inflation rally fueled a bout of market volatility that prevented most initial public offerings in 2022, last week saw a flurry of listings. It is 15 months since there was a busier week, according to Dealogic data.
Five IPOs, including the $638 million offering of solar tech firm Nextracker Inc (NXT.O) and the $190 million offering of Chinese sensor maker Hesai Group (HSAI.O), were completed last week. In total, the IPOs raised about $1.17 billion in proceeds, up sixfold from the previous week when stock market debuts raised about $193 million, according to Dealogic.
IPO bankers and lawyers said that if the market’s thawing continues, aided by a decline in market volatility and a rise in corporate valuations, they expect several major companies waiting in the wings, including social media firm Reddit and SoftBank-owned (9434.T) chipmaker Arm Holdings, could launch their IPOs in the second half of 2023.
“It has been really encouraging to see these transactions. We see this as step one in a broader IPO market recovery, with some of the stronger sectors leading the early supply,” said Rob Stowe, co-head of Americas equity capital markets at Barclays Plc (BARC.L).
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IPOs excluding those of blank-check acquisition companies raised the lowest amount of capital in more than two decades in 2022, with proceeds coming in at $8.7 billion, compared to $154.1 billion in 2021, according to Dealogic.
Wall Street’s fear gauge, the Cboe Volatility Index (.VIX), is down nearly 12% since the start of the year, signaling reduced investor anxiety and making the launch of IPOs easier.
“I think we’re in a market that has at least begun opening, but it’s not open to all issuers yet,” said Andrew Wetenhall, co-head of equity capital markets for the Americas at Morgan Stanley (MS.N).
Some companies are waiting for a sustained IPO recovery before deciding to pull the trigger for their debut, some of the advisers said. That will likely take at least until the summer if the market recovery continues, they added.
“It could be into the summer before you begin to see a more traditional IPO calendar. It’s going to be very industry specific, thematic oriented in this next wave (of IPOs),” said Michael Wise, JPMorgan’s (JPM.N) vice chairman for equity capital markets.
Reporting by Echo Wang in New York; Editing by Anirban Sen and Chris Reese
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