The IPO Buzz: AXA’s Big Deal

When AXA Equitable Holdings (EQH proposed) filed to price its $3.5 billion IPO on April 26, 2018, a lot of eyes snapped open. That was a giant IPO. The pricing date was set for Wednesday evening, May 9, to trade on Thursday morning. In time, other IPOs joined AXA’s name on the calendar for the week of May 7. To date, this week’s new-issue calendar has six companies expecting to raise $4.23 billion.

AXA Equitable’s pending offering of 137.25 million shares at $24 to $27 each is the largest IPO to come to market since the Snap (SNAP) offering of March 1, 2017. Snap offered 200 million shares at $17 each to raise $3.4 billion. The IPO closed its opening day at $24.48 – UP 44 percent from its initial public offering price. Since then, Snap’s IPO has hit some bumps and followed a grinding path to Friday’s close of $10.79 – DOWN 55.9 percent from its opening day’s close.

But today’s story is about AXA Equitable.

AXA Equitable, based in New York City, is one of America’s leading financial services companies. It was founded in 1859. The company is the U.S. unit of AXA S.A., headquartered in France. AXA Equitable has about 12,200 employees and advisors and more than $670 billion of assets under management through two complementary and well-established principal franchises: AXA Equitable Life and AllianceBernstein.

(For more information about the above company and others on the IPO calendar, please check the profiles found on’s website.)

Here is the rest of this week’s IPO traffic, arranged by the expected trading date.

Tuesday evening for Wednesday’s trading:

Evelo Biosciences (EVLO proposed), based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is developing potential therapies designed to act on the gut-body network. The gut-body network represents the connections of the gut to all organs and tissues and enables the gut to exert a significant level of control over the body’s immune and biological systems. Note: Insiders have indications of interest for $40 million of the $85 million being offered.

Origin Bancorp (OBNK proposed), based in Ruston, Louisiana, offers a range of financial services to small and medium-sized businesses, municipalities, high-net-worth individuals and retail clients through Origin Bank, its wholly owned bank subsidiary. Origin Bank was founded in 1912. Note: The bank holding company is offering 2.5 million shares and insiders are offering about 1.14 million shares.

Wednesday evening for Thursday’s trading;

AXA Equitable Holdings, please see above for details.

Thursday evening for Friday’s trading:

Abpro (ABP proposed), based in Woburn, Massachusetts, is a biotechnology company developing next-generation antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with severe and life-threatening diseases. The company is focusing on novel antibody constructs for immuno-oncology, ophthalmology and autoimmunity. Note: Insiders have indications of interest for $28 million of the $60 million being offered.

HUYA (HUYA proposed), based in Guangzhou, China, considers itself the No.1 game live streaming platform in China with the largest and most active game live streaming community and average daily time spent on mobile app per mobile active user. HUYA has created an engaged, interactive and immersive community for game enthusiasts of China’s young generation.

Trinity Merger (TMCXU proposed), based in Honolulu, is a “blank check” company formed to focus on acquiring a business combination target with a real estate component (such as a real estate investment or management company, or a business within the hospitality and lodging industry).

May’s Third Week

For the week of May 14, 2018, the IPO calendar is clean and green. At press time, there were no IPOs on tap. But anything can happen when the SEC’s filing window opens again for business on Monday morning.

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.