Consider this: The IPO calendar for the week of Dec. 3, 2007, listed 25 deals with pricing dates, according to a polling of Wall Street syndicate desks. They expected to raise $4.2 billion.
December 2006 was the busiest December in the 2000 decade, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. A total of 36 IPOs were priced. They raised $5.7 billion.
Now let’s flip the calendar pages back to a year ago: The IPO calendar for the week of Dec. 4, 2006, listed 21 deals with pricing dates. They expected to raise $2.5 billion.
The first IPO priced in December 2006 was Penn Virginia GP Holdings (NYSE: PVG), an energy limited partnership, on Dec. 4, and the last IPO priced that December was Freedom Acquisition, a “blank check” company, on Dec. 22.
Neither offering was well received by investors. A year later, each had an interesting story to tell.
Penn Virginia priced its IPO of 6.3 million common units on Dec. 4, 2006, at $18.50 each, down from a filing range of $19 to $21 per common unit. Penn Virginia closed its opening day at $18 — DOWN 50 cents from its initial offering price.
Fast forward to Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, when Penn Virginia closed at $32.20 — UP 74.1 percent from its initial offering price.
Freedom Acquisition priced its IPO of 48 million units at $10 each on Dec. 22, 2006. Freedom Acquisition closed its opening day at $10, unchanged from its initial offering price.
On Nov. 2, 2007, Freedom Acquisition effected a reverse acquisition of GLG Partners (NYSE: GLG) and changed its name to GLG Partners.
Let’s scroll forward again to Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, when GLG (formerly Freedom Acquisition) closed at $13.75 — UP 37.5 percent from its offering price.
The Shadow Knows
Here is what is not shown on any IPO calendar. It is the “shadow calendar.” On Dec. 4, 2006, there were 13 companies that had set their pricing terms, but no pricing dates had been announced. They aimed to raise $2.3 billion. Added to those figures were about 48 “blank check” companies waiting in the wings. They expected to raise $4.2 billion.
But that was last December’s IPO traffic — 36 IPOs that raised $5.7 billion.
This year the “shadow calendar” shows 12 companies in the pipeline that have set their pricing terms, but no pricing dates have been announced. They expect to raise $1.7 billion. And then are about 32 “blank check” companies, which could come to market whenever the SEC signs off on them. They hope to raise $4 billion.
Almost a $3 Billion Week
This week’s IPO calendar has 14 deals looking to raise nearly $2.8 billion. Among them are four blank check companies and two Chinese deals, but no “hands down” runaway favorites at press time.
But remember, folks, this is Wall Street, and anything can happen. Just look at last week when the Federal Reserve officials started talking. Everybody listened.