The first half of 2014 has seen the hottest IPO market in 14 years – 133 IPOs priced, raising more than $30 billion in proceeds. This is already greater than the total number of IPOs priced during 2011 and 2012.  The second quarter even included five IPOs that raised more than $1 billion each.  There were many active sectors, including biotech, as always, even after correction in March-April, healthcare, technology, energy, industrial, consumer and financial companies.  Chinese company IPOs were very active, with ten companies going public, including, a China-based e-commerce company that raised $1.78 billion.  The NYSE dominated the IPO market with more than 61% of the IPO proceeds.  Most of the IPOs continued strong in their after-offering trading.

The impact of the JOBS Act, particularly its confidential submission process, is clear.  More than 85% of the IPOs used the confidential submission process.  At June 30th, the backlog (defined as U.S. IPOs initially filed or revised within the past 180 days) was 93 deals, representing more than $11.5 billion in proceeds.  However, the backlog does not include JOBS Act confidential filings.  Given the typical offering lull in August, there is no pressure for the confidential filings to become publicly available until at least August, when the companies get ready for launch in September or Q4.

And the IPO world continues to wait for the multi-billion dollar Alibaba IPO – now expected to price in September.