Business

13 IPOs make for an unusually busy week in new tech stocks

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We’re entering an unusually busy week in IPO-land, with no fewer than 13 initial public offerings planned in the U.S.

A good number of them are tech-related and/or based in Silicon Valley:

  • Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI), a provider of fiber-optic networking products, plans to raise $50 million by offering 3.6 million shares at a price of $13.00 to $15.00. It’s based in Sugar Land, Texas.
  • Covisint (COVS), which provides a data sharing platform that’s used by companies in the auto and health care industries, plans to raise $64 million by offering 6.4 million shares at a price range of $9.00 to $11.00. The company is based in Detroit.
  • Montage Technology Group (MONT), a Shanghai, China-based fabless provider of chips for set-top boxes and in-memory computing, plans to raise $92 million by offering 7.1 million shares at a price range of $12.00 to $14.00.
  • Pattern Energy Group (PEGI) owns and operates eight wind power projects in the US, Canada, and Chile. It plans to raise $320 million by offering 16.0 million shares at a range of $19.00 to $21.00. It’s based in San Francisco.
  • RingCentral (RNG), which provides VoIP phone systems to small businesses, plans to raise $90 million by offering 7.5 million shares at a price range of $11.00 to $13.00. RingCentral is based in San Mateo, Calif.
  • Violin Memory (VMEM), which makes enterprise flash-based storage systems, plans to raise $162 million by offering 18.0 million shares at a price range of $8.00 to $10.00. Violin Memory is located in Mountain View, Calif.

(Renaissance Capital, which tracks IPO offerings, compiled this list, and we’re grateful to them for it.)

Almost all of the above companies will have valuations well under $1 billion, although the largest by market capitalization will be Pattern Energy, which will hit the $1 billion mark almost exactly if its offering prices at $20, the midpoint of the proposed range. The next largest companies would be Violin Memory ($874 million valuation at the midpoint of its range) and RingCentral ($804 million).

Two competitors of Violin Memory recently exited the market through lucrative acquisitions: Western Digital plunked down $645 million for flash memory maker Virident on Sept. 9, while Cisco announced its $415 million acquisition of Whiptail, whose solid-state drive technology it hopes will speed up its Unified Computing System (UCS) data center architecture, on Sept. 10. At the time, J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold told us, “This is actually a validation of the flash storage marketplace.” With a decent-sized flash memory IPO landing this week, the space is looking pretty smart indeed. And Violin is certainly going to need its $162 million IPO proceeds in order to compete with Western Digital and Cisco.

In addition, there are a host of biotech, pharmaceutical, and health care firms joining the debutante ball this week: Enzymotec (ENZY), Evoke Pharma (EVOK), Fate Therapeutics (FATE), Foundation Medicine (FMI), Ophthotech (OPHT), and Premier (PINC). There’s also an energy company, Tecogen (TGEN), which makes cogeneration systems for turning natural gas into electric power.

Notably, 11 of the 13 companies will list their shares on the historically tech-friendly Nasdaq, while two — RingCentral and Violin Memory — will list on the NYSE. (One, Pattern Energy Group, will be listed on the Nasdaq as well as the Toronto Stock Exchange.) That’s good news for Nasdaq, which has faced stiff competition in the past two years from the NYSE for the hearts of tech CEOs. But the fact that two of the week’s three biggest IPOs (by valuation) will be on the NYSE will inject a slightly sour note into Nasdaq’s victory song, as it echoes 2012, when 16 of the 20 biggest tech IPOs — including Workday — went to the NYSE.

At least they got Pattern Energy.


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