The IPO Buzz: Chips, SPACs and Saudi Aramco

Chips and SPACs are in the spotlight on this week’s IPO Calendar. And there’s big news about an IPO that the American public can’t buy – the long-awaited Saudi Aramco deal. (More on that gigantic IPO in a minute.)

Bankers plan to price eight IPOs this week and raise about $684 million. Two chip companies – Canaan (CAN proposed) and SiTime (SITM proposed) – are in the mix. Three SPACs or special-purpose acquisition companies, also known as blank checks, are in the lineup: Amplitude Healthcare Acquisition (AMHCU proposed), GreenVision Acquisition (GRNVU proposed) and Software Acquisition Group (SAQNU proposed). There’s also a REIT: Alpine Income Property Trust (PINE proposed). A Chinese debt collector, YX Asset Recovery (YXR proposed), and a Florida-based auto dealer, LMP Automotive Holdings (LMPX proposed), round out the roster.

Saudi Aramco’s IPO Terms

On Sunday, Nov. 17, Bloomberg, Reuters and others in the financial press ran stories about Saudi Aramco announcing the terms of its IPO: 3 billion shares at 30 riyals (US$8.00) to 32 riyals (US$8.53) each. That would be an initial public offering of about 96 billion riyals or US$25.6 billion. The final pricing terms are expected to be announced on Dec. 5, 2019.

Americans, Canadians, Australians and Japanese are excluded from buying shares in the Saudi Aramco IPO.

As far as American investors are concerned, this fact is significant: Saudi Aramco’s shares are not registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission nor with the securities regulators in any of the 50 U.S. states.

Each news organization published its analysis of the Saudi Aramco IPO, but none answered the question: When can Americans buy the stock?

The answer is when that stock becomes a “seasoned security.”

Investopedia offers this definition: “A seasoned security is a financial instrument that has been publicly traded in the secondary market long enough to eliminate any short-term effects from its initial public offering. Any security that has been issued and actively traded in the Euromarket for at least 40 days.”

But a listing on the Saudi Stock Exchange, or Tadawul, might not qualify this stock as a “seasoned security.” The only answer would come from your stock broker.

This brings us back to this week’s IPO traffic. Let’s take a look at the eight deals, organized by pricing and trading dates.

Monday night pricing for Tuesday trading:

GreenVision Acquisition (GRNVU proposed), based in Shanghai, is a SPAC or a blank check company focusing its search on target businesses operating in China, as well as in other regions in Asia and North America, in the life sciences and healthcare industries.

Tuesday night pricing for Wednesday trading:

Amplitude Healthcare Acquisition (AMHCU proposed), based in New York City, is a blank check company focusing on acquiring a business in the healthcare or healthcare-related industries in the United States and Europe.

YX Asset Recovery (YXR proposed), based in China, collects delinquent consumer debt.

Wednesday night pricing for Thursday trading:

Canaan (CAN proposed), based in Hangzhou, China, is a provider of supercomputing solutions through its proprietary high- performance computing ASICs. Its management invented and delivered one of the first Bitcoin mining machines incorporating ASIC technology, according to the prospectus. (ASIC is an acronym for application-specific integrated circuit.)

LMP Automotive Holdings (LMPX proposed), based in Plantation, Florida, is an e-commerce and facilities-based retail platform for consumers who desire to buy, sell, rent, subscribe for or finance pre-owned and new automobiles. The company offers vehicle subscriptions as an alternative to buying or leasing without long-term commitments, the prospectus says.

SiTime (SITM proposed), based in Santa Clara, California, is “a leading provider of silicon timing systems solutions,” the prospectus says. The company – a subsidiary of Japan’s MegaChips Corp. – makes silicon-based timing products used in the automotive industry (cars’ navigation systems, for example) as well as in the aerospace and defense industry, in smartphones, tech wearables and the Internet of Things, and in the industrial, communications and consumer sectors.

Digital cameras, tablets, e-readers, set-top boxes and consumer entertainment devices use SiTime’s MEMS wafers, according to  Electronic Design magazine.

Thursday night pricing for Friday trading:

Alpine Income Property Trust (PINE proposed), based in Daytona Beach, Florida, is a newly organized real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns and operates a portfolio of single-tenant commercial properties. The company’s initial portfolio consists of 20 single-tenant retail and office properties in 15 markets in 10 states. The company plans to pay a dividend of 20 cents a share, or 80 cents a share on an annualized basis, the prospectus says.

Week of Nov. 18 pricing and trading:

Software Acquisition Group (SAQNU proposed), based in Las Vegas, is a blank check company that focuses on software companies, especially those targeting enterprise vertical sectors owned by private equity and venture capital firms as well as corporate carve-outs.

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

Thanksgiving Week

There is nothing on tap for the week of Thanksgiving, when the U.S. holiday will fall on Thursday, Nov. 28. But that blank IPO menu could change when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window reopens 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.