Monday, August 14, 2000
The IPO geyser continues to spew money - with 8 deals raising
$580 million last week, bringing to $2.4 billion the total raised through IPOs
in the past four weeks. But leading indicators may be beginning to point toward
a waning of the biotech love-in: Of the 8 IPOs that priced last week, 3 raised
less than they had hoped and only 4 traded up beyond 15 percent in the aftermarket.
"I think we're starting to see some saturation,"
said Chase H&Q banker Vivek Jain. "Premiums are coming down, deals
are getting trimmed and you're not seeing the deals trade up 30 to 40 percent."
Lehman banker Eric Roberts said buysiders are beginning to
grumble about being overfed. "Starting about a week or two ago, we've been
hearing that they were reaching the saturation level on biotech deals and equity
deals in general. Investors have made a lot of money buying quality deals and
now they're saying, 'I don't want to stub my toe by chasing deals at the end
of a cycle.'"
Indeed, another indicator of softness is the lack of new deals.
Only $484.3 million of paper has been put in the IPO queue in the third quarter.
About $1.7 billion remains in the pipeline, down from the $4.1 billion from
46 companies in mid-June.
Nevertheless, most bankers polled by Ebb & Flow remain
encouraged by the performance of the broader biotech group. The BioCentury 100
is down 7 percent over the past four weeks, but it has soaked up the $2.4 billion
of new paper during that time and still favorably compares to the poorer-performing
NASDAQ composite, which is down 11 percent over the same period.
Some sizzle left
And not all signals are pointing
south. Lion (NMarkt:LIO; LEON) took top honors for the week's biggest IPO haul.
The German developer of bioinformatics and drug discovery technologies listed
on both NASDAQ and the Neuer Markt and raised $181.6 million after filing on
July 11 to raise E169.3-E201.3
million ($160.3-$190.7 million). Indeed, LIO made a blistering debut in Frankfurt
on Friday. Opening at E44,
the first trade was completed at E65
and LIO closed the day up 32 percent at E57.9,
capitalizing the company at E1
billion ($917 million). On NASDAQ, the stock was up 25 percent to $49.50.