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Wall Street stages a modest IPO revival

For much of last year US equity issues were hard to get away and for a few weeks September 11 closed off IPOs altogether. Now a revival is apparent, though one characterized by caution. It should persist, if optimism about recovery from recession is not unfounded.

Jeff Edwards

It's just before midday on December 13 last year, a Thursday, and Mark Tercek finally has a few moments to spare. The global co-head of equities at Goldman Sachs has had a busy few days. In the morning Prudential Financial's $3 billion IPO was launched with Goldman as sole book runner, and the next job is to price the $400 million IPO for United Defense Industries with co-book runner Lehman Brothers.

These deals come after the launch of a $690 million deal for support services company Aramark on Monday (with Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan), and a sole lead on a tech deal on Tuesday - Netscreen Technologies' $160 million IPO.

Six other IPOs are priced that week, making it the busiest week for the American IPO market for 14 months. It's the culmination of nearly two months of strong activity in both primary and secondary equity issuance.

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