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IPOs: Slowdown in IPOs

Issuers opt for convertibles and opportunistic deals.

Credit market nervousness has spilled over to the equity markets, making it a lot harder for some companies to achieve the valuations they want at IPOs but benefiting convertibles issuance and other quick-to-market opportunistic deals.

"We are seeing a distinct lull in IPOs as companies with less-compelling investment cases find it more attractive to delay pricing than risk poor valuations," says Viswas Raghavan, head of international capital markets at JPMorgan in London. "There is still plenty of money out there for must-have deals but it is getting harder to attract investors to roadshows for more marginal stories unless you’re giving it away. A lot of investors have had poor returns from IPOs so far this year and are now being more selective and more sensitive to valuations."

Equity market volatility has, by contrast, been a benefit to the convertibles market. After a painfully slow summer, the EMEA convertibles market woke up to more than €1 billion-worth of issuance in one week in November. Austrian property developer Immofinanz, which returned to the market for the second time this year with a €750 million 10-year deal, and British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat, which launched a $288 million deal, were two of the more notable issues.

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