IPO trends for the year ahead: prepare early, move fast, says Ernst & Young

Canadian IPO markets forecasted to be stronger this year

TORONTO, July 9, 2012 /CNW/ - In spite of tepid growth and prevailing global economic turbulence, IPO markets showed remarkable resilience in 2011. And in Canada there's a robust pipeline of companies ready to list, says Ernst & Young in a recent report.

In fact, Canadian companies and sectors continued to post impressive results in 2011, and the number of IPOs is expected to increase in 2012.

"Overall, the number of issuers has gone up by 4% in the last year, which is quite encouraging," says Bill Demers, Partner and Canadian IPO Leader. "The windows for completing a deal successfully are likely to open and close quickly as the IPO market functions very much in cycles. And right now, there are a lot of companies ready to go public. They're just waiting for the right window to open."

As the markets evolve in the second half of 2012, companies considering an IPO this year should factor in the following current trends, which have been outlined in the ninth annual Ernst & Young Global IPO trends report.

  1. Learning to live with volatility. Despite the steady outlook for the Canadian economy, the ongoing sovereign debt crisis, global political instability, sluggish growth prospects and the unpredictable nature of the market will all have a cautionary influence on Canadian IPO decisions for at least the next 12 months.
  2. Managing execution risk. Valuation and pricing conditions continue to change quickly, and a record number of companies have had to withdraw their listing plans. The increased execution risk changes the way companies need to plan for their IPO.
  3. Preparing early, moving fast. IPO companies need to ensure they have a clear, compelling story to tell investors about their financials, so the key is to prepare early, manage risk that might slow down a listing, and prepare to move quick once a viable market window opens.
  4. Executives are keeping an open mind. Many companies are taking their IPO to foreign markets, rather than listing on their national market by default.  Also, companies are seeking new forms of equity financing, such as crowd-funding portals to broaden their funding options.
  5. Central bankers are the key holders. Sovereign debt weighed heavily on global IPO markets last year, but as 2012 moves forward, the outlook is bright. However, the key to sustained IPO recovery will largely remain in the hands of the world's central bankers and sovereign leaders.
  6. Companies are proving profitable. It's worth noting that many companies have had strong corporate earnings growth, with growth rates forecasted to rise in the second half of 2012. Profitable, capital-hungry companies and a positive equity market sentiment are two key ingredients for a vibrant IPO market.
  7. Learning from blockbuster IPOs. One deal does not make a trend, but IPO companies in all sectors can learn a lot from studying recent new-listing experiences — how they priced their company, how they funded the company and how they managed execution risk.
  8. IPOs are boosting from private equity. In the US, nine of the year's 10 biggest IPOs involved private-equity-backed companies. Private equity firms have become more nimble: when market windows opened, they were ready to move quickly. In Canada, there is an estimated $40 billion worth of capital raised. There has also been a rise in venture-capital-backed IPOs globally in 2011. We expect this to continue in 2012.

About the report
The ninth annual Ernst & Young Global IPO trends report highlights the outlook for IPO markets and analyzes the key trends of 2011. It includes the perspectives of some of the world's top investment bankers, whom we'd like to thank for their time and support.

About Ernst & Young's Entrepreneurial Services Practice
Ernst & Young LLP's Entrepreneurial Services Practice guides Canadian entrepreneurs by delivering integrated services tailored to their goals and needs at every stage of the business lifecycle. We are the world's leader in advising, guiding and recognizing the entrepreneurs who propel the economy - and community - forward.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca/Entrepreneurs.

About Ernst & Young
Ernst & Young is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. Worldwide, our 152,000 people are united by our shared values and an unwavering commitment to quality. We make a difference by helping our people, our clients and our wider communities achieve their potential.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca.

Ernst & Young refers to the global organization of member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients.


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Jennifer Nascimben
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Julie Fournier
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Sarah Shields 
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