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Equity issuance: US IPO pipeline starts to fill

Boost in markets reignites demand; Private equity players return

The first two weeks of August were the busiest in new filings for IPOs in the US for that period since 2000, indicating that the market is about to reopen. This year’s IPO activity has been sparse, with only 21 deals priced. However, there are now 51 deals in the pipeline, up from 23 in July.

Almost 30 companies filed for IPOs in August, up from 17 in July and 11 in the first six months of the year.

According to Scott Sweet, senior managing partner and principal researcher of IPO Boutique, there are several reasons why new filings have surged. "With the exception of financial IPOs, the IPOs that have debuted this year have performed well, and companies are starting to notice," he says.

A way in
Lisa Carnoy, global head of equity capital markets at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, believes that companies, encouraged by the performance to date, are viewing the equity markets as offering a way into the debt markets. "Some companies with little access to the debt markets and wide credit default spreads could tap the equity markets and then return to the capital markets to do a debt deal," she says.

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