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Monday, September 25, 2023

IPO investors invest with major discounts

Investors, wary of past underperforming IPOs from 2020 and 2021, are cautiously reentering the market, but only for attractive deals. A KKR & Co. Inc. survey of investors holding over $10 trillion in assets reveals that 43% are seeking IPO candidates that offer a 20-30% discount compared to listed peers to feel confident in investing.

The focus now is on reasonable valuations post-IPO, with a shift away from skyhigh valuations.

David Bauer, head of KKR’s equity capital markets, noted that certain IPOs might not recover due to issues like shareholder base, liquidity, or unproven business models.

While a fifth of the IPOs from the peak period are trading above their IPO price, only a fraction have performed well post-listing.

The investment sentiment has improved, with long-only accounts and hedge funds investing capital, and optimism prevails regarding the IPO market’s comeback in the next nine months. Yet, investor requirements have become stricter.

Companies are expected to show profitability sooner after IPO, and investors seek “de-risked offerings” with cornerstone or anchor investors.

Bauer mentioned that today’s investors are more conservative and cautious, favoring businesses with earnings, revenue, and stability in projections.

The anticipation is that the upcoming IPO class will be better tailored for the market. However, the desire for discounts remains steep, indicating continued apprehension from the losses sustained in previous IPOs.

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