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Renaissance Capital's 2015 US IPO Annual Review

December 18, 2015

Coming off of two banner years, the 2015 IPO market was a disappointment with 169 IPOs raising only $30 billion, a six-year low. There is no single explanation for the decline in 2015 activity; rather, it was driven by a number of factors, including uncertainties about Federal Reserve and European monetary policies, concerns over the Chinese economy, poor IPO performance, declining energy prices and increases in M&A and private market transactions. For the first eight months of the year, the IPO market was on target to reach over 200 IPOs with solid returns, but went into a tailspin in August and September that wiped out positive performance, drove abnormally high IPO discounts and brought issuance to a near halt by year-end. Health care was the single sector that held up, comprising a record 46% of IPOs as biotech deal flow remained strong. Technology IPOs were notable in their absence, which was a function of plentiful pre-IPO funding and a large unresolved disparity between public and private market valuations. While there were some bright spots, such as Shake Shack, GoDaddy and Fitbit, there were far more disappointments, with 58% of all IPOs trading below issue and the average IPO down -4% at year-end. Looking ahead, the IPO pipeline is full, but the pace of IPO activity in 2016 depends on adjusting the expectations of investors and issuers.

View our 2015 US IPO Annual Review PDF