The New Year in New Issuance

Now that we’re a solid two weeks into the new year and 2014 is but a distant memory, it’s time to stop dwelling on the past and start looking ahead to the future! Especially when it comes to the new issuance market.

The last year in new issuance was anything but average, and matching, let alone out doing, 2014 is a tall order – specially without a behemoth like Alibaba on the horizon.

Which isn’t to say there’s nothing to look forward to.

In fact, there are already 73 issuers in the backlog for 2015 – 13 more than there were at this point last year – hoping to raise a combined $9.4B in proceeds (which, thanks to the lack of $1B+ debuts like EP Energy and IMS Health, is about $2B under 2014’s initial pipeline). The two biggest names in that group are Box Inc. an online file sharing and cloud-based content management provider that’s expected to raise around $172M when it hits later this month; and Shake Shack, the delicious burger hotspot, debuting on the heels of last year’s fast-casual chain surge and making us hungry just thinking about it.

Healthcare is not to be overlooked either, not that we at the Ipreo Blog ever could. The sector will look to build upon a record 2014, as 24 issuers from the space currently await their market premieres, hoping to raise an aggregated $1.6B. As usual, these filings trend on the smaller side, with the average IPO currently hoping to raise $70.4M, markedly below the backlog average of $133.3M. But the quantity remains.

Thus far, it doesn’t seem likely that 2015 will top last year’s 17 IPOs valued at over one billion dollars, as the current backlog shows no IPO presently standing to earn more than $800.0M – via MLP Columbia Pipeline Partners, which, should that figure stand, would become the third-largest IPO ever from a space that seems to be having a moment of its own. There are 11 energy deals currently in the backlog, 10 of which are MLPs.

Is the Energy sector (and its MLPs) making a run at Healthcare’s crown? Will another Alibaba emerge as the year progresses? Can Healthcare maintain its scorching 2014 pace? Will another sector step up and grab headlines?

We’ll see. And we’ll be sure to let you know.