According to Renaissance Capital, there were 273 IPOs that raised $85 billion of gross proceeds. The number of offerings in 2014 increased by nearly 23% and the proceeds raised increased by 55% over 2013. Alibaba’s $25 billion offering was the largest IPO in history, and there were 11 IPOs that exceeded $1 billion in proceeds.
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The number of healthcare IPOs doubled in 2014 to 100. Biotechs comprised 25% of total deal volume, with 69 IPOs, an 86% increase over 2013. Financial industry proceeds were up by 82% over 2013, including the proceeds from seven billion dollar IPOs, although the number of offerings fell by 20%. Energy IPOs also reached a new proceeds record of $12 billion, but consumer IPOs raised only about one-third of the proceeds from 2013.
Post-IPO returns remained strong. Average first-day returns were 13.3% in 2014 compared to 17.3% in 2013, and the average total return at year end was approximately 16% compared to nearly 41% in 2013. There was also significant valuation pressure in 2014 compared to 2013. IPOs priced 7% below the midpoint on average and 40% of the offerings came to market below the proposed range. Some companies appear to have postponed their offerings in response to valuation pressures. Cohn Reznick, an accounting, tax and advisory firm specializing in middle market ($10 million to $2 billion market capitalization) companies, using a somewhat different set of IPO issuers, has noted that while there was a 24% increase in the number of middle market IPOs, there was an 11.4% decrease in proceeds from 2013.
The New York Stock Exchange continued its market leadership in 2014 with 129 IPOs that raised $70 billion, including eight of the 10 largest U.S. IPOs and several of the largest non-U.S. issuer offerings.
As the year comes to a close, the pipeline currently consists of 107 companies seeking to raise $19.3 billion, excluding confidential submissions that could become public in 2015.