Earlier this month, we commented on some statistics regarding the number of IPOs and the IPO backlog (based on public filings). Here, we offer a few more insights into recent trends in the IPO market based on various publicly available sources.
There were 70 IPOs that priced in the second quarter of 2014. Of those almost 60% priced within or above the stated price range—this is fairly consistent with the experience of the last several quarters. Perhaps it is too early to assess, but some have speculated that test-the-waters meetings for EGC IPOs are providing useful information regarding pricing and that is contributing to more deals pricing within the filing range compared to pre-JOBS Act periods. IPOs priced in the first half of the year have outperformed the major equity indices.
Sponsor-related deals continue to represent an important component of the 2014 IPOs; however, not as high a percentage as of the 2012 and 2013 IPOs. This may suggest that financial sponsors took their exit opportunity earlier in the IPO cycle. The percentage of sponsor-backed companies also may correlate to the high number of IPOs that have had a selling stockholder component. About a third of recent deals have had a selling stockholder component.
We are still not seeing a return of “smaller” company IPOs. For almost 50% of the IPOs undertaken since the JOBS Act was passed, the issuer’s market capitalization at the offering was between $150 million and $750 million. Average IPO offering sizes continue to be substantially higher than in the late 1990s and early 2000s. This suggests that Regulation A+ may still be an important “IPO alternative” for smaller companies.
We continue to see occasional variations on the traditional 180-day lock-up period for directors, officers and principal stockholders of the IPO issuer. Post-JOBS Act IPOs have incorporated a number of permutations, including, for example, staggered lock-up periods wherein the term of the restrictions varies by category of holder; lock-up periods that are tied to certain stock price levels and fall away if the IPO issuer’s stock price has performed well; and shorter lock-up periods. Also, we continue to see a number of IPO issuers coming back to market for follow-on offerings, usually comprised largely of selling stockholder shares, within the IPO period.