Wednesday, December 08, 2021

1,000 IPOs for 2021 within reach as total reaches 957 with month to go

By John Filar Atwood

An already historic year for IPOs has another milestone in sight—1,000 new issues—with one month left in 2021. As of the end of November, the tally stood at 957, which is by a wide margin the highest annual total since at least 1970. The market added 98 deals in November, its busiest month for IPOs since March. The November total surpassed October by six deals. Twelve companies went public last week, all of which were blank check companies (SIC 6770). The week’s six preliminary filers also were all SIC 6770 companies. Energy industry-focused blank checks ST Energy Transition I and ROC Energy Acquisition began public trading. ST Energy, which is headquartered in Bermuda, was the 53rd non-U.S. SIC 6770 company to complete an IPO in the U.S. this year. California is home to new issuers Canna-Global Acquisition, Roth CH Acquisition V, Games & Esports Experience Acquisition, and Bullpen Parlay Acquisition also made their public market debuts. To date, 78 of the year’s 569 blank check IPOs have been by California companies. Mizuho Securities led TLGY Acquisition to market last week. Eleven of Mizuho’s 13 lead underwriter assignments in 2021 have been for SIC 6770 companies. Blue Ocean Acquisition went public, and intends to use the IPO proceeds to pursue Internet and media companies valued between $750 million and $2 billion. The week’s other offerings were completed by Capitalworks Emerging Markets Acquisition, PROOF Acquisition I, UTA Acquisition, and BioPlus Acquisition.

New registrants. The week’s activity included six new registrations, all filed by blank check companies. The latest non-U.S. SIC 6770 public registrants are Hong Kong’s AP Acquisition and Malaysia-based DUET Acquisition. AP will target sustainable companies outside of China, while DUET will search for middle market enabling technology companies based outside of China and Hong Kong. Atlantic Coastal Acquisition II, which will focus on the mobility sector, also registered its IPO plans. The company’s sponsor will purchase $11.8 million of warrants in a concurrent private placement. New registrant USA Acquisition will target the enterprise software sector with a focus on infrastructure software. USA Acquisition’s anchor investors intend to purchase up to 9.9 percent of the units sold in the IPO. Welsbach Technology Metals Acquisition and Keyarch Acquisition also publicly registered last week. Welsbach will pursue businesses in the technology metals and energy transition materials sectors. Keyarch plans to search for an innovative technology services partner, including AI, autonomous driving, and advanced manufacturing businesses. November ended with 76 new preliminary registrations, 36 fewer than were filed in October. The 11-month total for new registrations this year is 1,261 compared to 499 in the same period last year.

Withdrawals. China’s Spark Education withdrew last week, and disclosed that it is considering other alternatives in light of current market conditions. Luxembourg-based Delimobil Holding also has chosen not to pursue an IPO at this time. The company amended its filing three times, most recently in late October. Three Forms RW were filed in November, five fewer than in October but the same as last November. As of November 30, 36 companies have withdrawn in 2021 which is 13 more than in the first 11 months of 2020.

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.