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10年IPO回顧:這6家公司的上市最值得關注

Kevin Kelleher 2019年12月31日

過去十年的美國IPO市場依然是一片熱鬧景象,包括Facebook、通用汽車、阿里巴巴在內諸多家喻戶曉的企業紛紛在這里上市。

過去10年,IPO市場發生了許多值得注意的變化。更多的初創企業不再選擇公開上市,而是選擇賣給大企業。股票市場在他們眼中一如根管之于牙病患者,不過是權宜之計罷了。

盡管如此,過去十年的美國IPO市場依然是一片熱鬧景象,包括Facebook、通用汽車、阿里巴巴在內諸多家喻戶曉的企業紛紛在這里上市。機構研究及IPO交易所交易基金提供商Renaissance Capital的數據顯示,過去10年,美國股票交易所共完成1689宗IPO,合計募資達4350億美元。

與過去幾十年相比,公司在2010年代上市的步伐要慢上許多。佛羅里達大學的一位金融學教授杰伊·里特的研究表明,相較于20世紀最后20年的IPO高峰期,最近十年的IPO數量下降了60%以上。

盡管科技公司的IPO數量有所增加,但放眼更大的市場,我們可以看到公司上市前等待的時間越來越長。過去10年,從科技公司成立到IPO平均需要花費11年時間,而20世紀后期平均為7年?!疤貏e是許多小型科創企業,它們已經放棄了上市之路,大多成功的科創企業都轉而賣給了像思科、甲骨文、Alphabet這樣的大型科技企業。 ”里特說道

通過回顧過去10年間的一些重大IPO,我們也可以洞悉企業募資趨勢以及投資者偏好隨著時間的推移所發生的變化。

通用汽車

IPO時間:2010年11月。投資回報率:13%

在申請破產一年半后,通用汽車重返股市,以每股33美元的價格募資201億美元,一舉成為史上規模最大的IPO之一。通用汽車重返股市之所以如此引人注目的另一個原因在于,當時其最大的股東是美國財政部,此前聯邦政府曾經注資330億美元救助了這家汽車制造巨頭。

史密斯說:“通用汽車上市相當于國有資產私有化,你肯定從沒想過會在美國碰到這種情況?!鄙鲜械诙晖ㄓ闷嚲突謴土擞?,這也傳遞出了強烈的信號:金融危機最嚴重的階段已經過去了。

Facebook

IPO時間:2012年5月。投資回報率:443%

2011年,領英上市,其股價一天之內翻了一番。在此之后,Facebook本應向其他打算上市的科技初創公司發出上市時機已經成熟的信號?,F在人們可能已經淡忘了Facebook是IPO,但Facebook在上市首日和第一年的表現乏善可陳。在首個交易日遭遇交易障礙之后,這次IPO在人們看來是“一團糟”,而有關其移動業務增長的擔憂也讓投資者倍感壓力。

在Facebook掃清對其財務狀況的質疑之后,其股票價格便開始一路走高,也為隨后幾年其他科技巨頭的上市鋪平了道路。尚未走出經濟衰退陰影的投資者需要這樣一家能夠打破困境的公司,從而吸引更多大名鼎鼎的公司開展IPO。Facebook做到了這一點,只是比華爾街預期的時間略晚了約一年。

阿里巴巴

IPO時間:2014年9月,投資回報率:209%

隨著IPO渠道的打通,公開募股的公司日益增多,最終在2014年達到近十年的頂峰。當年,新上市的公司總共募集到853億美元資金,其中250億美元流向了中國的新興電子商務巨頭阿里巴巴。

史密斯說:“阿里巴巴的IPO就像中國的亮相派對。不僅僅規模龐大,也反映了對中國及其科技產業的認可?!苯?0年以來,已經有數十家中國科技企業赴美IPO,而這種情況可能會發生改變。2019年11月,阿里巴巴在香港單獨上市,募資110億美元,此舉標志著在貿易爭端陰云下,中國企業在靠近家門口的地方可能會募集到更多的資金。

Moderna Inc.

IPO時間:2018年12月,投資回報率:負16%

“生物技術公司的IPO很難獲得高知名度,也正因此大家對它們都不太關注,但如果從交易數量來看,從2013年到現在,生物技術行業一直都是IPO市場的最大玩家,”里特說?!巴顿Y者們投資了數百家公司,但其中大多數公司在上市之際不僅沒有利潤,甚至連營收都沒有?!?

對于那些不太了解生物技術行業的投資人而言,投資此類企業尤為冒險,但通過IPO募集資金后,生物技術企業便可以完成藥物的前期研發工作并展示出自己的發展潛力,由此引起大型制藥企業的興趣,進而獲取投資或尋求被后者收購。在過去10年上市的數百家生物制藥及其它制藥初創企業中,Moderna是最大的一家,共募資6億美元。

Spotify

上市時間:2018年4月,投資回報率:14%

Spotify其實并非通過IPO上市,這個案例之所以值得一提是因為其可能會對未來的IPO市場產生重大影響。Spotify沒有選擇與華爾街銀行家們合作,而是繞過了耗費不菲的傳統IPO承銷流程,采用直接上市的方法發行股票,從歷史上看,這種方式并不常見,通常只有一些小公司會采用這種方法。

據史密斯介紹,Spotify在直接上市中登記了價值74億美元的股票,按這個數字計算,如果Spotify進行IPO,則會成為過去10年的第5大IPO。今年,Slack也追隨Spotify的腳步選擇直接上市,而愛彼迎據說也計劃在2020年直接上市。也曾有公司像谷歌一樣通過拍賣股票上市,這種方法也能夠減少上市費用。但里特表示,最后一次拍賣還是2013年的事了。而直接上市則可能會在未來變得越發常見。

Uber?

IPO時間:2019年5月,投資回報率:負33%

Uber曾是硅谷最富盛名的獨角獸企業之一,現在則身陷爭議漩渦。在堅持長時間不上市的獨角獸企業中,Uber可算是典型代表。在放棄堅持、走向上市前,Uber已從風投、主權財富基金和私人資本市場獲取了數十億美元的資金。

其它那些原本堅持不上市的獨角獸企業,如Lyft、SmileDirectClub和WeWork也在2019年敲響了公開市場的大門。但由于投資者對獨角獸企業的虧損采取了更審慎的態度,前兩家公司的股票在上市后一路走低,而WeWork甚至未能成功上市,其在提交招股說明書數周后最終撤回了IPO申請。Uber、Lyft和WeWork在IPO市場的待遇表明,即使私募市場眼力不足,但2010年代末的IPO市場還是十分盡責的。

里特表示,“在我看來,WeWork上市失敗恰恰是公開市場運轉良好的表現,我們需要不時看到這種案例,以便讓人們意識到開展盡職調查的必要性?!?(財富中文網)

譯者:Charlie

審校:夏林

In some notable ways, the IPO market isn’t quite what it used to be. Fewer startups are going public these days, often selling out to bigger firms or just regarding a stock market debut the way a dental patient looks forward to a root canal.

Nonetheless, the past 10 years has been busy enough for the U.S. IPO market, with some big names like Facebook, General Motors and Alibaba entering the stock market. All told, 1,689 IPOs debuted on U.S. exchanges, raising an aggregate $435 billion in proceeds, according to Renaissance Capital, a provider of institutional research and IPO ETFs.

The pace of new listings is slower than in previous decades. According to research from Jay Ritter, a finance professor at the University of Florida, the number of IPOs this decade is more than 60% lower than the new offerings in the last two decades of the 20th century, a relative boom time for IPOs.

And while there has been an increase in tech IPOs, the larger market for new issues can be characterized by companies waiting longer and longer to go public. The median time from founding a tech company to an IPO was 11 years this past decade, up from seven years in the late 20th century. “Small tech firms, in particular, have stopped going public. Instead, most successful tech startups sell out to a bigger tech company such as Cisco Systems, Oracle, Alphabet,” Ritter says.

A look at some of the most important IPOs of the past ten years also shows both how trends in raising corporate capital are evolving, as well as how tastes among investors have also shifted over time.

General Motors

November 2010. Return from IPO: Up 13%

A year and a half after filing for bankruptcy, GM staged one of the largest IPOs in history, raising $20.1 billion at $33 a share. The listing was notable for another reason: GM’s largest shareholder was the U.S. Treasury, after the federal government staged a $33 billion bailout of the auto-making giant.

“It was the privatization of a government-owned asset, something you never thought you’d see in the U.S.,” says Smith. GM returned to profitability the following year, presenting a powerful symbol that the worst of the financial crisis had passed.

Facebook

May 2012. Return from IPO: Up 433%

After LinkedIn went public in 2011 and saw its price double in one day, Facebook was supposed to signal the all-clear for other tech startups to go public. It’s somewhat forgotten today, but Facebook’s debut and first year were actually rocky. The IPO was considered “botched” after a trading snag on its first day, and concerns about its mobile growth weighed on investors.

Once Facebook proved its financial skeptics wrong, its stock took off, paving the way for other tech holdouts to go public in the following years. Investors still uneasy in the wake of the Great Recession were looking for a company to break the ice and create demand for other brand-name IPOs. Facebook did that—it just took a year or so longer than what Wall Street had hoped.

Alibaba

September 2014. Return from IPO: Up 209%

Once the logjam cleared out of the IPO pipeline, more offerings flowed through, culminating in the decade’s busiest year in 2014. Companies raised a collective $85.3 billion that year, with $25 billion of that going to China’s up-and-coming e-commerce giant, Alibaba.

“Alibaba’s IPO was like China’s coming out party,” Smith says. “It wasn’t just the size, it also reflected the acceptance of China and its technology segment.” Dozens of other Chinese tech companies staged IPOs in U.S. this decade. But that may change: Alibaba raised $11 billion in a separate offering in Hong Kong on 2019 November, signaling Chinese companies may raise more money closer to home in the thick of a trade war.

Moderna Inc.

December 2018. Return from IPO: Down 16%

“Because biotech IPOs are almost never household names, they haven’t gotten as much attention, but they have been the largest industry in the IPO market from 2013 until now, in terms of the number of deals,” says Ritter. “Investors have been funding hundreds of companies, most of which not only have no profits, they don't even have any revenue at the time of going public.”

That may make biotech IPOs especially risky for investors inexperienced with them, but by raising money in IPOs, biotechs can carry their drug development to the point when Big Pharma takes an interest and invests in or buys out a promising startup. Among the hundreds of biopharma and other drugmaker startups that went public this decade, Moderna’s was the largest, raising $600 million.

Spotify

April 2018. Return from offering price: Up 14%

Okay, this one wasn’t an IPO, but Spotify’s listing is notable because it may end up having a significant effect on the future IPO market. Spotify bypassed the traditional (and costly) IPO underwriting process of working with Wall Street bankers, and used a direct listing—historically an uncommon option used solely by smaller companies.

Spotify registered $7.4 billion worth of shares in the direct offering, Smith says, which would have made it the fifth largest IPO in the last 10 years had it taken that route. Slack followed this year with its own direct listing, and Airbnb is said to be planning one in 2020. Once, companies like Google used auctions, which can also involve lower listing fees. But the last IPO by auction was in 2013, Ritter says. Instead, it's direct listings that may grow more common in the future.

Uber

May 2019. Return from IPO: Down 33%

Uber went from one of the most celebrated of Silicon Valley unicorns to one of the most controversial. But it’s also emblematic of the unicorns that held out as long as possible from going public, tapping venture capital firms, sovereign wealth funds, and private capital markets for billions before giving in and entering the public stock market.

Other holdouts like Lyft, SmileDirectClub, and WeWork also tested the public markets in 2019. The first two saw their stocks fall as investors took a harder look at unicorn losses, while WeWork didn’t even make it out of the gate, pulling its IPO several weeks after filing a prospectus. If anything, the reception (or lack thereof) for Uber, Lyft and WeWork suggest the IPO market is working as it should at the end of this decade, even if private markets have been less discerning.

“I view the we work meltdown as public markets working,” Ritter says “You need a situation WeWork every once in a while to remind people you do have to do due diligence.”

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