The IPO pipeline, which slowed to a trickle in 2008 (when just six companies went public), rebounded significantly during the last three months of 2010, as 57 companies went public and 56 others registered for IPOs, according to a report from the Ernst & Young accounting firm.
The rate of replenishment represents a healthy balance that is being driven by an increase in IPO filings by small companies, says Mark Sogomian, an IPO leader at Ernst & Young. Two-thirds of the registrations (75 companies) were seeking to raise $100 million or less, according to the accounting firm. Among total filings, the average amount sought is $191 million, down by 3 percent from the previous quarter, when the average was $198 million.
At the end of December, Ernst & Young said a total of 121 companies had filed to go public on U.S. exchanges, including 16 based in China. (The increase in Chinese IPOs reflects a trend that the National Venture Capital Association also highlighted about a month ago.) But California now ranks No. 1 in terms of registrations, with 22 California companies in registration at the end of December. (At least one of those, San Francisco-based Epocrates, went public last week.)
Ernst & Young says the largest company to file is HCA Holdings, the largest for-profit hospital operator, which is seeking to raise $4.6 billion. The next largest are media and entertainment company Nielsen Holdings, which filed to raise $1.75 billion, and the Kinder Morgan oil and gas company, which is seeking $1.5 billion.
Technology companies make up the biggest industry sector, with 25 seeking a total of $2.5 billion. Ernst & Young counted 17 pharmaceutical filings, seven biotechs, and four telecoms. The firm also provided a state-by-state list of filings, (with the responsible Ernst & Young in parenthesis); the listings for states with Xconomy websites is here:
Language Line Services Holding
Bruker Energy & Supercon Technologies
Affinia Group Holdings
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