M&A

IPOs Will Increase in 2nd Half: Bankers

But capital markets execs expect only $15 billion in IPO proceeds this year, the lowest total since 2003.
Matthew HellerJune 22, 2016

Capital markets executives at leading U.S. investment banks expect the IPO market to improve in the second half of 2016 but remain well below last year’s pace, according to a new survey.

BDO USA said in its 2016 IPO Halftime Report that 34% of bankers are predicting the pace of U.S. IPO activity will increase during the second half of the year, while 18% forecast a decline and 47% anticipate IPO activity will remain at the same level as the first half of the year.

Overall, capital markets executives foresee a 5% increase in the number of U.S. IPOs during the second half of the year. But even at that rate, the number of offerings would be the lowest for a full year since 2009.

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Respondents also predict offerings will raise $15 billion in total IPO proceeds on U.S. exchanges in 2016, the lowest amount since 2003.

“Although the U.S. IPO market began to show signs of life in May, almost doubling the number of offerings priced during the first four months of the year, it remains well behind the pace of 2015 and the average for the past decade,” Paula Hamric, director in the capital markets practice of BDO USA, said in a news release.

Last month, IPOs had their busiest week since July 2015, with the $1 billion offering by US Foods raising hopes that the new-issue market is warming up after a protracted freeze.

In the BDO survey, executives cited stock market volatility (41%) during the initial weeks of the year and the availability of private funding at attractive valuations (23%) as the main causes of the big drop in IPOs this year.

As possible drivers of an IPO revival, 30% cited the need for a sustained stock market rally and 23% pointed to the need for better pricings and improved returns from new offerings.

“The overarching theme is an aversion to the risk associated with making an offering in increasingly discerning public markets versus the certainty of private funding or a sale,” Hamric commented. “Until these alternatives become less attractive and IPO performance improves, growth in offering activity is likely to be minimal.”

The BDO poll is a national telephone survey of 100 capital markets executives.