The IPO Buzz: Uber’s IPO and a Traffic Jam

Uber Technologies (UBER proposed) leads a long list of 15 IPOs to market this week. For the record, this is the largest IPO Calendar since the week of July 28, 2014, when 22 deals were scheduled, and 17 IPOs got out the door, according to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings.

This week’s IPO Calendar features six healthcare deals, two blank check companies, two financial services firms (a bank and a REIT), a government contractor, an industrial engineering firm, a Russian online job placement firm, a telephone manufacturer – and Uber, the name on everyone’s lips. All 15 IPOs aim to raise a total of $10.3 billion. And that’s not all.

Next week’s calendar has another four IPOs expecting to raise almost $3.1 billion.

This week, investors are fixated on Uber’s $8.46 billion IPO. The giant rideshare company’s highly anticipated initial public offering is set for pricing Thursday night, May 9. The terms are 180 million shares at $44 to $50 each. Trading is expected to start Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

Don’t count on getting an Uber or a Lyft in Manhattan on Wednesday morning, though. Drivers for Uber and its rival Lyft (LYFT) in New York City plan to strike for two hours on Wednesday morning, May 8, to protest pay and working conditions.

For a broader look at Uber and the question of whether the company will ever make a profit, check out this story published Saturday, May 4, in The Wall Street Journal.

Whoa! Look at the Traffic

To get the big picture for the first full week of May, let’s look at these 15 deals, organized by pricing and trading dates.

Monday evening pricing to trade Tuesday morning, May 7:

A biopharma IPO, carried over from last week, and a blank check company are on tap.

Trevi Therapeutics (TRVI proposed), based in New Haven, Connecticut, is a carry-over from last week. Trevi is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercializing nalbuphine ER, an oral extended-release formulation of nalbuphine, an injectable opioid drug.

Landcadia Holdings II (LCAHU proposed), based in Houston, Texas, is a blank check company that intends to search for acquisitions in the consumer, dining, hospitality, entertainment and gaming industries, including technology companies operating in these industries, according to the prospectus.

Tuesday evening pricing to trade Wednesday morning, May 8:

A government contractor with cybersecurity expertise is on the IPO launch pad.

Parsons (PSN proposed), based in Centreville, Virginia, is a leading provider of technology-driven solutions in the defense, intelligence and critical infrastructure markets. Its customers include the U.S. Army, the U.S. intelligence community and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the prospectus says.

Wednesday evening pricing to trade Thursday morning, May 9:

Five healthcare IPOs dominate Wednesday night’s roster of eight deals.

Applied Therapeutics (APLT proposed) is a New York-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. Its leading drug candidate is designed to treat diabetic cardiomyopathy, “a fatal fibrosis of the heart, for which no treatments are available,” the prospectus says.

Axcella Health (AXLA proposed) is a Cambridge, Massachusetts-based biotechnology company that is pioneering the research and development of drugs to regulate metabolism and treat liver diseases. Its leading drug candidate is targeting hepatic encephalopathy, which affects people with cirrhosis.

Cortexyme (CRTX proposed) is a South San Francisco-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company pioneering a drug to treat Alzheimer’s disease. The company is developing a drug to fight the bacteria causing serious gum disease; this bacterial infection has been found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients, according to multiple studies, the prospectus says.

HeadHunter Group PLC (HHR proposed), based in Moscow, says it is the leading online recruitment platform in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States. From the prospectus: “We offer potential employers and recruiters paid access to our extensive curriculum vitae (“CV”) database and job postings platform.”

Mayville Engineering (MEC proposed), based in Mayville, Wisconsin, describes itself as a “one-stop shop” that provides metal fabrication and stamping, coating, assembly and aftermarket components for customers in diverse end markets, including heavy trucks and other commercial vehicles, construction, agriculture and the military.

Milestone Pharmaceuticals (MIST proposed), based in Montreal, is a Phase 3 clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing etripamil, a calcium channel blocker, as a nasal spray that a patient can use to end episodes of a rapid heart-rate condition called PSVT (paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia), according to the prospectus.

NextCure (NXTC proposed) is a Beltsville, Maryland-based clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to developing “immuno-medicines” to treat cancer and other immune-related diseases. Its leading drug candidate is being evaluated to treat advanced or metastatic solid tumors, which could include ovarian cancer, the prospectus says.

South Plains Financial (SPFI proposed) is a bank holding company headquartered in Lubbock, Texas. Its flagship, City Bank, is one of the largest independent banks in West Texas.

Thursday evening pricing to trade Friday morning, May 10:

Uber is the one to watch Thursday night and Friday morning. But a blank check, a real estate investment trust (REIT) and a specialized mobile phone company are also on the IPO launch pad.

Health Sciences Acquisitions (HSACU proposed) is a New York-based blank check company that intends to target companies based in North America or Europe that are developing assets in the biopharma and medical technology sectors.

Postal Realty Trust (PSTL proposed), based in Cedarhurst, New York, owns and manages properties leased to the United States Postal Service. After the IPO is completed, the company will own and manage an initial portfolio of 271 postal properties in 41 states, the prospectus says.

Sonim Technologies (SONM proposed) is a San Mateo, California-based provider of ultra-rugged mobile phones and accessories designed for construction workers and other task workers in industry and the public sector. Sonim sells its phones and accessories to AT&T, Sprint and Verizon as well as to Canada’s three largest wireless carriers.

Uber Technologies (UBER proposed) became a verb – as in “Let’s Uber there” – long before the No. 1 U.S.-based ridesharing company filed its IPO papers.

In its prospectus, the company says: “Every minute of every day, consumers and drivers on our platform can tap a button and get a ride or tap a button and get work. We revolutionized personal mobility with Ridesharing, and we are leveraging our platform to redefine the massive meal delivery and logistics industries. While we have had unparalleled growth at scale, we are just getting started: only 2 percent of the population in the 63 countries where we operate used our offerings in the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2018, based on MAPCs.” (Translation: MAPCs are Monthly Active Platform Consumers.)

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

The week after Uber

For the week of May 13, 2019, the calendar lists four IPOs. Topping that list is Avantor (AVTR proposed) with a $3 billion offering. Come Monday morning, more names could roll onto next week’s IPO Calendar. Anything could happen when the SEC’s filing window opens again for business.

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.