The IPO Buzz: Last Call for IPOs in 2013

The mid-December closing of the 2013 IPO market is in keeping with years past, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings. Since 2000, the earliest year-end close for the IPO calendar came on Nov. 19, 2008. But 2008 was not a happy time on Wall Street. The latest year-end close came on Dec. 21 – in 2010, 2006 and 2005.  
This week’s calendar brings us AMC Entertainment Holdings (AMC – proposed) and Cambridge Capital Acquisition (CAMBU – proposed). The first seems to have taken up permanent residency in the IPO pipeline. The other is a “blank check” unit offering.
Now That’s Entertainment
It’s been a long, long way to market for AMC. Consider:
·         On Sept. 12, 2007, AMC filed plans for an IPO to raise $500 million. Its proposed trading symbol was “AC,” the old American Can Company for students of stock market history. By Oct. 31, 2008, the stock market had tanked. The S&P 500 Index lost 34.2 percent from mid-September 2007 until the end of October 2008, when AMC withdrew plans to go public.
·         On July 14, 2010, AMC filed plans again for an IPO. This time it was expecting to raise $450 million. By Sept. 5, 2010, the stock market was soaring. Nevertheless, AMC withdrew its pending offering. It was reported that the IPO market’s climate was not conducive for private equity entities to bring companies public.  
·         On Aug. 5, 2013, AMC once more filed plans for an IPO. The third time around, AMC expected to raise $400 million. In today’s IPO market, the private equity recyclables have been snapped up by investors. So welcome to market, AMC.
AMC Entertainment, based in Leawood, Kansas, is one of the world’s largest theatrical exhibition companies. It believes it is an industry leader in innovation and operational excellence. The company introduced Multiplex theatres in the 1960s and the North American stadium-seated Megaplex theatre format in the 1990s. As of Sept. 30, 2013, AMC owned, operated or held interests in 343 theaters with a total of 4,950 screens mostly in North America. About 200 million customers had visited its theaters during the 12 months ended Sept. 30, 2013. Founded in 1920, the company has about 900 full-time employees and about 18,100 part time-employees.
Underwriters plan to offer 18.4 million shares of Class A common stock at $18 to $20 each to raise about $349.6 million. The IPO is expected to be priced on Tuesday evening and trade on Wednesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange under the proposed symbol of “AMC.” The joint-lead managers are Citigroup, BofA Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Credit Suisse. The co-managers are B. Riley, Barrington Research, FBR, HSBC, LOYAL3 Securities, Piper Jaffray, Stifel and Wedbush Securities.
Loyalty Play
There is a wrinkle in this offering. AMC will give its loyal customers – its AMC Stub Members – a chance to buy into its IPO at its offering price through LOYAL3 Securities.
Offering IPOs to customers is nothing new.
One of the first was the November 1996 Boston Beer (SAM) IPO. Each six-pack included a coupon for the consumer to subscribe to its IPO. It was reported that 990,000 shares were directly sold to beer buyers at $15 each and the offering was fully subscribed. The shares closed on Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at $224, UP a lot from its initial offering price of 17 years ago.
This wraps up the last IPO calendar of 2013.
The IPO Buzz is taking next week off. It will be back on Dec. 30, 2013.
The staff of would like to wish everybody “Happy Holidays.”
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.