Mystery IPO Doubles On Debut

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It is just not that common where an initial public offering (IPO) comes along and totally blows its debut out of the water without investors catching on. So, what about a mystery IPO that doubles on its first trading day? Tantech Holdings (NASDAQ: TANH) entered the market Tuesday and took the IPO market by storm.

Some might say this is a mystery because not much is known about the company except that it is out of China and deals in bamboo and charcoal. Most investors have not even likely heard of the firm which did the underwriting. Overall there were 3.2 million American depository shares (ADS) of common stock in the offering, priced at $4.00 per ADS.

This valued the total offering at $12.8 million for the offering. The company had originally planned to raise up to $16 million, but the deal was raised to 3.2 million shares from 1.6 million shares with an original range of $4 to $6 for the pricing. Tantech’s original filing signaled that some 21.6 million shares would be outstanding after the IPO, so if that number is static it would imply a market cap after the pop of close to $173 million if you count it as a double.

Now, shares might have priced at $4 per ADS but they actually entered the market at $6 per ADS when it opened for trading.

ViewTrade Securities acted as sole book-running manager for the offering. The firm is a global provider of full service securities brokerage, investment banking, corporate/advisory and trading platform services.

The company sells approximately 82% of its products in China, and the remaining 18% of the products are sold internationally, including both direct and indirect distributor sales, in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, the Middle East and Europe. In addition to bamboo charcoal products, Tantech also derives revenues from trading activities, which primarily relate to industrial purchases and sales of charcoal.

Tantech produces and sells three categories of bamboo charcoal products: BBQ products, Charcoal Doctor products and EDLC carbon. All of the products are produced from bamboo charcoal and bamboo charcoal byproducts. Because of the lifespan and fast growth rate of bamboo, the products are considered environmentally friendly.

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Entering the last hour of trading just over 200,000 ADSs have moved on the day, which is miniscule compared to what one might typically see. GoPro entered the market last summer and on the first day of its IPO 45.8 million shares moved.

Shares of Tantech more than doubled, up 118% at $8.70, on the first day of trading. Shortly ahead of the close, Tantech’s ADSs were up 96% at $7.84 on over 220,000 shares. The day’s trading range was $5.64 to $9.50.

Some IPOs go very unnoticed. This one falls under that category.