September was an eventful month in the new issuance market.
It’s a testament to the strength of the IPO market in 2014 that even had the biggest IPO of all-time not debuted last month, and even if it hadn’t been followed up with 2014’s second-largest IPO – Citizens Financial Group, which landed with a “mere” $3.5B – September’s remaining 14 deals still would have seen it close well-above historical figures (since 2001, September has averaged 8 IPOs). Of course, without those two big filings, the month’s total proceeds wouldn’t have fared quite as well.
Of September’s 16 deals, half belonged to Healthcare, in what has been par for the course in 2014, and, looking ahead, will probably continue to be. The Healthcare sector is also responsible for 38 of the 103 deals in the backlog (a figure that nearly doubles the 66 that waited in the wings at this time a year ago). Taking some of the wind out of those sails, however, is the reality that the sector’s pending deals aren’t exactly Alibaba-sized. While the backlog continues to grow in terms of deal quantity, its expected proceeds are actually down nearly $10B from a year ago, thanks in part to a surplus of sub-$300M deals in the healthcare sector.
Neither the relatively small-sized deals in the backlog nor the relatively small size of the month’s non-Alibaba debuts can slow the momentum of 2014’s new issuance market. The rest of the year still looks promising, and even without Jack Ma’s powerhouse, September’s performance would have been impressive.
It just wouldn’t have made history.