The IPO Buzz: Levi, Lyft & A Unicorn Spring

By Jan Paschal:

Levi Strauss (LEVI proposed) leads the list of five IPOs coming to market this week. And the whispers circulating around Wall Street say that Lyft (LYFT proposed) is about to start its road show.

But Levi Strauss, the jeans and apparel maker with a market valuation of about $5.78 billion, isn’t the only unicorn on this week’s IPO Calendar. Another unicorn – cloud-based HR benefits company Alight (ALIT proposed) – is also set to make its debut. Alight has a market valuation of about $4.8 billion. (A unicorn is a private company with a market valuation of $1 billion or more.)

As for Lyft, the road show will begin once the No. 2 U.S. ride-share company has filed its Form S-1A, the amended prospectus disclosing the number of shares and the price range, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Uber, the ride-share giant, is expected to file its public S-1 for its IPO in April, Reuters reported – and other unicorns like Airbnb, Slack and Pinterest are likely to soon follow.

In all the excitement over Levi and Lyft, some may have missed the signs of life at the SEC’s filing window. Last week, six companies filed plans with the SEC to go public.

That trend is in sync with the season. Spring will start on Wednesday, March 20th.

Let’s take a look at this week’s IPO Calendar, when five companies plan to raise a total of about $1.56 billion.

Denim Darling

Levi Strauss & Co. (LEVI proposed) is an American fashion icon. The company, founded in San Francisco in 1853, says it “invented the blue jean 20 years later.” Levi Strauss took in $5.6 billion in net revenue and sales globally in fiscal year 2018.

This week is the second time around for Levi Strauss on the IPO front. The company was privately held until 1971, when it went public. In 1985, Levi Strauss went back to private ownership through a leveraged buyout.

Levi Strauss expects to raise $550 million in this IPO of 36.7 million shares, based on the midpoint of its $14-to-$16 range. The IPO is scheduled for pricing on Wednesday evening, March 20th, to start trading on the NYSE on Thursday morning, March 21st.

Benefits in the Cloud

Alight (ALIT proposed) offers cloud-based benefits and payroll solutions for companies and their employees to manage their health and pension benefits as well as pay and time off. Its clients include about half of the Fortune 500, the prospectus says. The company is backed by Blackstone, the private equity powerhouse.

Alight aims to raise about $752 million in this IPO of 32 million shares, based on the midpoint of its $22-to-$25 range. The IPO is expected to be priced on Thursday evening, March 21st, to start trading on the NASDAQ on Friday morning, March 22nd.

The Rest of the Calendar

UP Fintech Holding Limited (TIGR proposed) is a Beijing-based global online brokerage catering to Chinese investors. The IPO is scheduled for pricing Tuesday night, March 19th, to start trading on Wednesday morning, March 20th.

Two blank checks are also in the offing:

Insurance Acquisition (ILSUU proposed) is a Philadelphia-based blank check or special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) targeting, as its name implies, companies in the insurance sector. The unit offering is scheduled for pricing Tuesday evening, March 19th, to start trading Wednesday morning, March 20th.

8i Enterprises Acquisition (JFKKU proposed) is a Singapore-based company that intends to focus on acquiring companies operating businesses in Asia. This unit offering is set for pricing on Wednesday evening, March 20th, to start trading Thursday morning, March 21st.

(For more information about these companies, please check the company profiles on the website.)

Week of March 25th

For the week of March 25th, the calendar has just one deal – and it’s not an IPO. It’s an offering by a company whose stock already trades on Euronext Paris. But more names could land on next week’s calendar after the SEC’s filing window opens for business again 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 opinion.