The February Thaw

As the romance heats up and the east coast cools way down, the IPO market finally started showing some signs of life in what has thus far been an alarmingly slow 2016.

The first week of February broke the slump – and cut short any “hopes” of breaking the record for the latest first debut of the year – as two IPOs priced. Leave it to Healthcare to bring the market back to life with BeiGene, Ltd. ($182.2M) and Editas Medicine ($108.6M). It wasn’t all good news, however, as the first week of the month also saw Petco and PLx Pharma withdraw their offerings, the former having been acquired and the latter citing market conditions, which: who can blame them?

This past week saw the year’s third and fourth IPOs, with combined proceeds of $145.0M and also from the Healthcare sector. Biotech, to be specific. AveXis Inc. was the larger of the week’s debuts, generating $95.0M in proceeds, nearly doubling Proteostasis Therapeutics, Inc. $50.0M IPO. Comparatively, the prior year welcomed five new issuers in the second week of February, for combined proceeds of $968.5M, with three hailing from the Healthcare sector and two from the Financials sector.

Meanwhile, three companies postponed their IPOs this week, while two withdrew their market debuts. All three of the week’s postponements were due to market conditions, including OTG EXP, Inc. from the Consumer services sector and Industrials company Advanced Disposal Services, Inc., which were seeking to raise $552.5M and $450.0M in proceeds, respectively.

2016’s new issuance market finally has a pulse… it’s just not particularly strong.