The IPO Buzz: On the Money Trail

Four IPOs got priced last week while a small-cap Chinese deal was pushed onto this week’s calendar. China Liberal Education Holdings (CLEU proposed) is the carryover. (We’ll have more on this minute.)

Last week had an interesting message. Since the U.S. stock market’s recent pullback, the calendar has been all about “blank check” IPOs and biotech or biopharma deals.

Three blank check companies priced their IPOs last week, raising $1.165 billion in proceeds. Two were increased in size – Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. III (IPOC.U) to 72 million units, up from 60 million units, and CC Neuberger Principal Holdings I (PCPL.U) to 36 million units, up from 30 million units.

Banking on Biopharma

The biopharma IPO was last week’s barn burner. That was ORIC Pharmaceuticals (ORIC). The company priced 7.5 million shares at $16 each on Thursday, April 23rd. The ORIC deal was upsized from 6.25 million shares, which was in turn bumped up from 5 million shares. The IPO started trading Friday, April 24th, and closed its opening day at $25.77, up 61.1 percent from its IPO price.

That was not much of a surprise. The shooting stars of April 2020 were all biotech or biopharma IPOs. The other two money makers were:

Zentalis Pharmaceuticals (ZNTL) priced its IPO of 9.2 million shares at $18 each on April 2nd. It closed Friday, April 24th, at $30.50, up 69.4 percent from its IPO price.

Keros Therapeutics (KROS) priced its IPO of 6 million shares at $16 each on April 7th. It closed Friday, April 24th, at $30.59, up 91.2 percent from its IPO price.

This has not escaped the notice of Wall Street’s bankers. They are well aware of this sector’s aftermarket action – and you can bet that they’re burning the midnight oil on this. In the meantime, we wait.

On This Week’s IPO Menu

The only IPO on this week’s calendar is the carryover, the small-cap Chinese deal. The timing of the deal’s debut is listed only as “the week of April 27th.”

China Liberal, based in Beijing, is an educational service provider operating under the “China Liberal” brand. The company says it provides students with the tools to excel in a global environment. It offers a wide variety of educational services and products (including job training) to address the needs of its partnering schools and its students.

The company plans to offer 1.33 million ordinary shares at $6 each to raise $7.99 million, according to its final prospectus dated March 31, 2020.

May’s First Week

This brings us to the week of May 4th and the IPO Calendar is blank so far. But some names could pop onto the IPO Calendar when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s filing window opens again for business on Monday, April 27th.

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.