Delayed, Abandoned IPO Plans Pile Up, Doubling 2017's Rate

(Bloomberg) -- Bain Capital’s Autodis Group isn’t alone in testing this year’s roiling IPO waters for big money, only to find the temperature too chilly.

Autodis and at least 22 other companies that announced IPOs valued at $10 million or more this year have now withdrawn or postponed those plans, according to statements and data compiled by Bloomberg. That’s compared with five that were announced and then scratched or delayed during the same period last year, with six more following suit since then.

This year’s would-be listings in the $10 million-plus range had a combined value of $8.79 billion, compared with $1.18 billion for those from 2017, the data show. The average amount the firms were hoping to raise in 2018’s scratched offerings -- $382 million -- was 3.6 times that of last year’s.

U.S. equity markets have been on a tumultuous ride since mid-January after touching record highs. Threats of a trade war have overshadowed improving economic forecasts and a red-hot jobs market, while political uncertainty in Europe has rattled stocks. Companies prefer to list during periods of stability to help ensure a smooth entrance to the public markets, with volatility often cited as a factor for pulling IPO plans.

Even companies that have been hanging around the hoop for a while are canceling or postponing IPOs at a higher rate this year. Fifty-nine companies, including many with long-pending plans on file, pulled the plug on or put off $12.72 billion-worth of listings in all of 2017. Five months into 2018, at least 39 companies have done so on $12.32 billion in listings, the data show.

This year’s IPO dropouts include grocery chain Albertsons Cos. and its plan for a $1.7 billion listing that had been kicking around since July 2015. Some, such as SoulCycle Inc. with its IPO plan also announced in July 2015, never refined their intended valuations beyond an original placeholder amount of $100 million.

Autodis, which filed on April 17 for a $400 million listing, suspended it last week because it was dissatisfied with investor feedback over valuation in early meetings. People familiar with the matter previously said the French vehicle parts maker was seeking a valuation of about 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion).

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

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