The 2008 New England IPO List: The Dead, the Aging, and the Newly Born

8/19/08

It seems like it’s only a matter of time before more New England tech firms with active registrations for IPOs throw in the towel due to the punishing market for public offerings. Only one area technology company, Merrimack, NH-based GT Solar (NASDAQ: SOLR), has completed an IPO this year—and it’s already feeling the pain of being a publicly traded company, facing shareholder lawsuits for alleged misleading and false claims made in its prospectus. Meanwhile, last week, Worcester, MA-based semiconductor firm Allegro MicroSystems became the latest in a string of New England high-tech firms to call off its IPO.

The IPO malaise isn’t confined to this region, of course. Reuters reported last week that there have only been three tech IPOs in the entire country in 2008. So I asked Eric Hjerpe, a partner at Atlas Venture in Waltham, the multibillion-dollar question: When will the IPO drought end? “They are saying the middle to late next year,” says Hjerpe, whose focus is IT. He refers to “they” as the venture capitalists and private equity players who attended a luncheon in Boston earlier this month hosted by the New York Stock Exchange. Naturally, Hjerpe says there was some griping in the room.

Indeed, Xconomy’s list of IPO candidates back in January has winnowed some, and only a few brave firms have since added their names to the planned IPO roster. Below is our roundup (complete with their hoped-for stock symbols) of “The Dead” (pulled at least for the time being), “The Aging,” and “The Newly Born” IPO proposals to date in 2008. Let us know about any we missed at editors@xconomy.com, or by posting a comment below:

The Dead —

Allegro MicroSystems — Worcester, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $115 million
Filed: 8/8/07
Withdrawn: 8/11/08
Recent news: Besides dropping its IPO last week, the producer of integrated circuits and sensors said earlier this month that it had released a new digital latch sensor for the automotive industry and other industrial customers.

Archemix — Cambridge, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $69 million
Filed: 7/24/07
Withdrawn: 2/6/08
Recent news: This month, the developer of aptamer drugs—which are short sequences of nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA—announced it would receive an initial $6 million of a possible total of $200 million from life sciences firm Ribomic in exchange for a license to develop aptamers for certain disease targets.

BG Medicine — Waltham, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $80 million
Filed: 8/3/07
Withdrawn: 1/23/08
Recent news: The molecular diagnostics firm, which was the first company on this list to drop its IPO plans, drew $40 million from the venture capital well in July in a Series D financing.

Elixir Pharmaceuticals — Cambridge, MA
Former proposed maximum offering: $86 million
Filed: 9/21/07
Withdrawn: 5/9/2007
Recent news: The drug developer inked an agreement with Boston University in July to license modulators of anti-aging enzymes called sirtuins.

NitroSecurity — Portsmouth, NH
Former proposed maximum offering price: $55 million
Filed: 8/9/07
Withdrawn: 5/19/08
Recent news: Shelving IPO aspirations for now, NitroSecurity announced last week that it secured $10 million in a VC round to fund market expansion and product development. … Next Page »

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  • http://www.xconomy.com/author/rmcbride/ Ryan McBride

    Of course, the company I missed in “The Aging” category of the IPO list, Salient Surgical Technologies, has become the first to call off its offering since we posted the list. With Salient’s announcement today, the number of “The Dead” IPOs grows…