The IPO Buzz: A $4.5 Billion Week

Bankers expect to raise nearly $4.5 billion with six IPOs this week – making this the biggest week, in terms of dollar volume, since early May 2019, IPOScoop records show. Two of the star attractions are a unicorn – namely nCino, a cloud banking software provider – and a unicorn hunter – Pershing Square Tontine Holdings, the blank check backed by Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge fund maverick.

If all six deals on this week’s IPO Calendar get done, about $4.47 billion in proceeds will be raised. (This assumes pricing at the midpoint of their price ranges.) This dollar volume makes this week the biggest since the week of May 5, 2019, when Uber Technologies led a calendar of 15 IPOs expected to raise $10.3 billion.

nCino, the banking unicorn on this week’s IPO Calendar, has a market cap of about $2.5 billion. (A unicorn is a privately held company with a market valuation of $1 billion or more.) nCino generated a lot of interest from IPO investors. Salesforce, the dominant cloud customer relations management (CRM) software provider, is nCino’s second-biggest stockholder with a 13 percent stake before the IPO, the prospectus says.

Of the $4.47 billion in deals on tap this week, one IPO accounts for $3 billion worth: That would be Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd., Bill Ackman’s blank-check company. It’s the biggest IPO of 2020 so far. It’s also the biggest IPO ever from a blank-check company, also known as a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). And it’s on the prowl to buy a “mature unicorn,” the prospectus says.

Ackman is also giving seven very small investment banks – minority-owned, veteran-owned and women-owned firms – a role in the underwriting and the distribution of the stock, as William D. Cohan reports in the July issue of Vanity Fair.

From an IPO investor’s point of view, the most unusual thing about the Pershing Square Tontine Holdings IPO is the proposed price: $20 a unit. That’s twice the usual price for a blank-check IPO.

Behind the headlines, the IPO pipeline just keeps growing. In the past week from July 6-10, a total of 12 companies filed S-1s or S-1/As (new prospectuses or amended prospectuses) with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Their projected IPO proceeds total about $1.13 billion.

For the year to date, the NASDAQ Composite Index is up 18.33 percent. The NASDAQ closed Friday at 10,617.44, a record. The Wall Street Journal noted that even as U.S. coronavirus cases rose to records last week, the three major U.S. stock indexes gained for the second week in a row.

A robust stock market provides the wind for the IPO market’s sails.

The IPO Scorecard for 2020 (on the website) shows that initial public offerings have scored an average gain so far this year of 57.01 percent, outperforming the NASDAQ by a ratio of 3-to-1.

An IPO Variety Show

Now let’s take a look at the six IPOs scheduled for this week, organized by pricing and trading dates. The lineup looks like an IPO variety show, with companies from the banking/fintech, blank check, biopharma, healthcare and insurance sectors.

Monday evening pricing for Tuesday trading:

nCino (NCNO proposed), based in Wilmington, North Carolina, is a leading global provider of cloud-based software for global financial institutions. It counts banks of all sizes, ranging from Bank of America to Coastal States Bank, and credit unions, including the Navy Federal Credit Union, among its customers. nCino uses some elements of the Salesforce platform for its banking SaaS platform, under an agreement with Salesforce, the prospectus says. (SaaS stands for software as a service.)

This is an IPO of 7.6 million shares at $28 to $29 each on the NASDAQ. The price range was increased on Friday, July 10th, to $28 to $29, up sharply from $22 to $24 in its July 6th filing.

PTK Acquisition (PTK.U proposed) is a Los Angeles-based blank check company that says it intends to focus on operating businesses in and around the high-tech industry in the United States.

This is an IPO of 10 million units at $10 each to trade on the NYSE American.

Tuesday evening pricing for Wednesday trading:

GoHealth (GOCO proposed), based in Chicago, is a leading health insurance marketplace that defines its mission as improving access to healthcare in America. People can use GoHealth’s proprietary technology platform to find the best health insurance for their needs, the prospectus says.

This is an IPO of 39.5 million shares at $18 to $20 each on the NASDAQ.

With a market cap of $5.95 billion, GoHealth is also a unicorn.

Wednesday evening pricing for Thursday trading:

Relay Therapeutics (RLAY proposed), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a clinical-stage precision medicines company focused on enhancing small molecule therapeutic discovery in targeted oncology. Its leading drug product candidate is being evaluated as a treatment for patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors, the prospectus says.

This is an IPO of 14.7 million shares at $16 to $18 each on the NASDAQ.

Relay Therapeutics, with a market cap of about $1.4 billion, is also a unicorn. Japan’s SoftBank is among the investors in Relay Therapeutics.

Trean Insurance Group (TIG proposed), based in Wayzata, Minnesota, is the parent of insurance and reinsurance companies focused on specialty risks within the casualty market, including specialty workers’ compensation insurance.

This is an IPO of 10.7 million shares at $13 to $15 each on the NASDAQ.

Trean has a market cap of about $716 million.

Week of July 13th Pricing:

Pershing Square Tontine Holdings Ltd. (PSTH.U proposed) is a blank check company that intends “to pursue merger opportunities with private large capitalization, high-quality growth companies where our ownership in the merged company would generally represent a minority of shares outstanding at the time of the merger,” the prospectus says. In other words, this blank check company is hunting for a “mature unicorn,” which may need to raise equity capital because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its business.

This is an IPO of 150 million units at $20 each on the New York Stock Exchange.

(For more information about these companies, check the IPO profiles on

Week of July 20th

The IPO Calendar for the week of July 20th is as clear as the beach at sunrise in Bermuda. But that situation could change quickly when the SEC’s filing window opens again for business on Monday morning, July 13th.

Stay tuned.

Disclosure: Neither the author nor anyone else on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned, nor do we trade or invest in IPOs. The author and staff do not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.