Big Day for PE-Backed IPOs

Three PE-backed companies canceled IPOs during the first week of February. Two of them gave no explanation, perhaps because they knew that the answers lay in the mirror. But the third company – Trident Resources Corp. – blamed “market conditions.” For the uninitiated, that’s legalese for: “It’s the market that sucks, not us.” The SEC should have rejected Trident’s original filing, by forcing Trident to either say nothing or blame itself. After all, this IPO market certainly does not suck.

In the past 24 hours, six PE-backed companies have priced IPOs for a total take of approximately $1.56 billion. Each of them priced above their targeted range – and the five Nasdaq listings trading were even higher as of noontime today (the sixth priced in Israel). This is the most successful IPO day I can remember in quite some time, and it’s amplified by the fact that three other PE-backed companies filed for IPOs.

All of this is admittedly just a snapshot, but also lends credence to analyst suggestions that we might be in the midst of an 18-month IPO boomlet. It also should be welcome news to VCs and LBO pros who’d like a few public homers to go with their M&A doubles (save for you Sequoia, given how far you seem to hit). Yeah, it’s not 1999. But it’s not 2002 either.

The six companies that priced yesterday were: Accuray Inc., National CineMedia Inc., Switch & Data, Mellanox Technologies, 3SBio Inc. and BioLineRx Ltd. Go here for more detailed info.