Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Blank checks continue to drive IPO market

By John Filar Atwood

Industrea Acquisition and Pensare Acquisition completed their IPOs last week, making four deals by blank checks companies (SIC 6770) in the past two weeks. The industry now accounts for 19 of the year’s new issues, one more than the pharmaceutical preparations sector. Only 13 blank checks deals were completed in all of 2016. Pensare Acquisition raised $270 million for the potential acquisition of a company on the U.S. wireless telecommunications industry. Industrea, which will target industrial manufacturing and service companies, is run by the founders of private equity firm Argand Partners. California is home to two of last week’s new issuers, RBB Bancorp and Sienna Biopharmaceuticals. The RBB Bancorp deal is the second state commercial bank IPO (SIC 6022) of 2017. Four state commercial banks went public last year. Sienna is the ninth pharmaceutical preparations IPO company since the start of June. Redfin made its public market debut, and is the first Washington-based company to go public in the U.S. since last September. The real estate broker’s $138 million offering was led by Goldman Sachs. The week’s other new issuer was China’s Newater Technology. The water purification treatment company had been publicly registered since mid-April.

New registrations. IPO market activity included no new registrations for a second straight week. The most recent filing is a July 14th registration by oil and gas pressure pumping services provider BJ Services.

Withdrawals. The market also has gone consecutive weeks without a withdrawal of a pending IPO registration statement. There have been only two Forms RW filed since May 5th.

The information reported here was gathered using IPO Vital Signs, a Wolters Kluwer Regulatory U.S. database that includes all SEC registered IPOs, including REITs and those non-U.S. IPO filers seeking to list in the U.S. markets. IPO Vital Signs does not track closed-end funds, best efforts or non-underwritten deals, or IPO offerings for amounts less than $5 million.