IPO News This Week: Looking Ahead to 2018

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For 2016, Renaissance Capital reported a total of 160 IPOs, up more than 52% year over year from 105 in 2016. Total 2017 proceeds amounted to $35.5 billion compared with a 2016 total of $18.8 billion. Renaissance Capital does not include “best efforts” or blank-check companies in its totals, nor does it include IPOs that raise less than $10 million.

In an earlier story we looked back at some of the highlights (and lowlights) of 2017. Now it’s time to look ahead at some of the biggest potential IPOs of 2018.

Renaissance Capital identifies four deals seeking to raise $1 billion or more that are already in the pipeline:

AXA Equitable is the U.S. arm of French insurance giant AXA. Although the preliminary filing listed the deal size at $100 million, that is likely a placeholder for an IPO to raise up to $3 billion. Underwriters for the offering are Morgan Stanley and J.P. Morgan.

Corporación América Airports is an Argentina-based operator of 51 airports in Latin America, Europe, and Eurasia. The deal size is expected to be $1.5 billion. Underwriters are Oppenheimer & Co., BofA/Merrill Lynch, Citi, and Goldman Sachs.

FTS International provides hydraulic fracturing (fracking) services in North America. This IPO is estimated at $1 billion. Underwriters are Credit Suisse, Morgan Stanley, Barclays, Citi, Wells Fargo Securities, Evercore ISI, Cowen & Company, Guggenheim Securities, and Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co.

VICI Properties is a REIT that acquires and develops gambling and leisure destinations. The IPO is expected to aim for a capital raise of $1 billion. Underwriters are Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and BofA/Merrill Lynch.

Among venture-backed companies there are a handful of highly valued firms that are likely candidates for 2018 IPOs:

Vacation-rental service Airbnb has an estimated valuation of $31 billion and there was a chance the company would file for an IPO in 2017. That didn’t happen.

Music streaming leader Spotify is expected to file for a direct listing on the New York Stock Exchange early in 2018. The company’s valuation is around $19 billion. While Spotify continues to grow rapidly, it also continues to lose piles of money. The company has received about $1.2 billion in venture funding according to Renaissance Capital.

Ridesharing firm Lyft is another possible 2018 IPO. The firm is valued at $11.5 billion and it has received some $4.1 billion in funding. Competitor Uber is not expected to file until 2019.

Cloud storage provider Dropbox is valued at a neat $10 billion. The company has reportedly hired Goldman Sachs as an adviser, presumably on an IPO.

Ancestry.com was taken private in 2016 by Silver Lake Partners in a transaction valued at $2.6 billion. As revenues reach $1 billion, another go at the public market is a distinct possibility.

Online pinboard site Pinterest has reportedly pushed a possible IPO out to 2019 after failing to hit a 2017 revenue target. The company has received nearly $1.5 billion in venture funding and is valued at around $12.3 billion.