Party over: “Pent-up supply” in a world with no demand.
“We all thought that we might finally get a year where we would be able to put four quarters together,” UBS global head of equity capital markets Sam Kendall told Reuters. “If you looked at the pipeline and how people were thinking about the world, it just felt good. And then the wheels came off.”
The two measly IPOs in the US in December brought the total for the year to 170, down 38% from 2014, according to Renaissance Capital. By that measure, it was the worst year since 2012.
In terms of dollars, only $28.7 billion in IPOs were booked in the US in 2015, down 48% from 2014, and by that measure, according to Thomson Reuters, “their worst year since 2009.”
Numerous IPOs were pulled or shelved this fall due to “turbulent markets,” as it’s called. They included some LBO queens, owned by private equity firms, such as supermarket Albertson and Texas-based luxury retailer Neiman Marcus that had gotten hit by oil bust contagion [read… Retail Sales in Texas Plunge].
A number of IPOs were pushed through by lowering their IPO prices, like the erstwhile hero of the year, payments systems provider First Data, another LBO queen that KKR acquired in 2007. Initially, the IPO price range was $18 to $20. But there wasn’t enough appetite. So the IPO price was lowered to $16. That was in mid-October. On Monday, it closed at $15.60.