The IPO Buzz: When Santa Wore A Slim Navy Suit

Santa traded in his signature red outfit for a slim navy blue suit last week. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell touched off a huge rally by indicating that the Fed was looking at rate cuts in 2024 in comments during his news conference last Wednesday (Dec. 13, 2023). Powell’s remarks followed the Fed’s decision to hold rates steady at the FOMC’s last meeting of 2023. 

The early Santa Claus rally caught the Street by surprise – driving the Dow above 37,000 for the first time and pushing the NASDAQ 100 up to a record high. The S&P 500 hit a record high above 4,700. The U.S. stock market’s surge bolstered optimism that the IPO market will improve in 2024 after two slow years.

As 2023 winds down, the IPO Calendar is extremely light this week. For the week of Dec. 18, 2023 – the week before Christmas – the pricing roster has six names – and only two have firm pricing dates. The rest are slated for pricing sometime during “the week of Dec. 18, 2023.”

Five of the six companies on this week’s IPO Calendar are based in Asia – one in Japan and four in Hong Kong. All are NASDAQ listings.

Linkage Global    (LGCB proposed), a profitable Japanese e-commerce services provider, is expected to price its tiny IPO on Monday night, Dec. 18. The stock is set to start trading Tuesday, Dec. 19, on the NASDAQ. The IPO consists of only 1.5 million shares at $4.00 to $6.00 to raise $7.5 million. The company would have a market cap of $108.0 million, if the IPO is priced at the $5.00 mid-point.

EF Hutton is the sole book-runner.

After the Fed

Looking back at last week, one big IPO filing slid into the IPO Pipeline after the Fed’s pivot to rate cuts next year. Fractyl Health (GUTS proposed) filed plans for a $100 million IPO in an S-1 dated Dec. 14, 2023, a day after the Fed’s meeting. The medical therapeutics company is targeting obesity and Type 2 diabetes with two  treatments – an outpatient surgical procedure and a gene therapy. Fractyl Health is based in Lexington, Massachusetts. BofA Securities, Morgan Stanley and Evercore ISI are the joint book-runners of its IPO.

Bankers priced three deals last week on Thursday night, Dec. 14, 2023 – amid the big rally a day after the Fed meeting – to raise a combined $126 million:

ZKH Group, Ltd. (ZKH), the parent of a Chinese MRO procurement platform, raised $62 million. Deutsche Bank, China Renaissance and CICC were the joint book-runners.

Bayview Acquisition Corp. (BAYAU), a New York-based SPAC or blank check company targeting businesses in Asia, raised $60 million. Bayview Acquisition increased the size of its SPAC IPO at pricing to 6.0 million units – up from 5.0 million – at $10.00 each. Chardan Capital Markets was the sole book-runner.

SinglePoint, Inc. (SING), a Phoenix, Arizona-based holding company with solar energy and air purifier subsidiaries, cut the size of its tiny public offering at pricing to 800,000 shares – down from 1.0 million shares – at $5.00 each to raise $4 million. The public offering was conducted in connection with SinglePoint’s uplisting of its stock to the Cboe’s BZX Exchange from the OTCQB Marketplace. Alexander Capital was the sole book-runner.

Looking Ahead

Bankers are likely to price a few more micro-cap deals between now and the end of 2023.

ZeroSpo (ZRSP proposed), a Tokyo-based company that owns and runs 41 ZeroSpo medical relaxation salons across Japan, intends to go public next week. The U.S. stock market will be closed on Monday, Dec. 25, for Christmas Day. Wall Street will get back to work on Tuesday, Dec. 26, also known as Boxing Day.

ZeroSpo’s small IPO is the only deal on the IPO Calendar so far for the four-day work week after Christmas. Boustead Securities and EF Hutton are the joint book-runners.

Stay tuned.

(Editor’s Note: This column, initially published Dec. 17, 2023, was updated early Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, with a round-up of last week’s IPO Traffic and a preview of next week.)

(For more information about these companies, please check the IPO Calendar and the individual IPO Profiles found on’s website.)

Note: Never trade on proposed symbols. They have been known to change and you might buy something on the OTC Bulletin Board.

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Disclosure: Nobody on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned above, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The staff does not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.

Disclaimer: A SCOOP Rating (Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums) is a general consensus taken, at press time, from Wall Street and investment professionals concerning how well an IPO might perform when it starts trading. The SCOOP Rating does not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with The SCOOP ratings should not be taken as investment advice. The rating merely reflects the opinion of the professionals at the time of publication and is subject to last-minute changes due to market conditions, changes in a specific offering and other factors, such as changes in the proposed offering terms and the shifting of investor interest in the IPO. The information offered is taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.