Wednesday, January 09, 2019

2018 finishes with 234 IPOs, a 24 percent increase from 2017

By John Filar Atwood

The IPO market limped to the finish line in 2018 with the holidays and substantial unrest in the broader markets keeping new issues on the sidelines for the last few weeks. Even so, the year tallied 234 deals, a 24 percent increase over 2017’s 189 IPOs. The aggregate offering proceeds for the year were $56.3 billion, a significant improvement over the $44 billion raised by 2017’s IPOs. Last week, no new issues were completed for a third straight week, and December finished with nine completed deals. That was one fewer than in November, and two fewer IPOs than last December.

New registrants. The week’s activity included three new registrations, including China-based software provider Powerbridge Technologies. The company is hoping to raise $15 million for its business of providing software and solutions to government and corporate organizations engaged in global trade. Powerbridge will continue to be controlled by its CEO following the offering. Genetic engineering company Poseida Therapeutics also registered. The company develops T-cell treatments for hematological malignancies and solid tumors. Super League Gaming, a California-based e-sports company, is planning a $25 million IPO. Super League offers a cloud-based amateur e-sports content platform to serve gamers around the world. The company enlisted Northland Securities as first lead manager. Northland last served as lead underwriter on a completed IPO in June 2017. The pace of new registrations slowed to 14 in December from 16 in November, and 19 in December 2017. The year ended with 268 preliminary IPO registrations, 45 more than were filed in 2017.

Withdrawals. October 2017 registrant WatchGuard was the lone company to withdraw last week. The provider of mobile video solutions for law enforcement has decided not to pursue an IPO at this time. The company never amended its initial public registration. Four Forms RW were filed in December, which is one more than in November and three more than last December. The final tally for 2018 was 38 withdrawals, up from 31 in 2017.

The information reported here is 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.