Q4 Flash Report: A Big Quarter for PIPEs
The ﬁnal quarter of 2017 was one of the most active ever for the private-investment-in-public-equity market, coming at the end of year when PIPE offerings raised more than $76 billion.
The quarter saw more individual deals than almost any quarter since 2007, when the build up to the global ﬁnancial crisis drove deal ﬂow the likes of which has seldom been seen.
In terms of dollars raised—more than $20 billion—the fourth quarter was one of the few since the GFC to exceed that number.
Figures include PIPEs tracked by PrivateRaise, TheStreet Inc.'s private placement data service.
PrivateRaise tracks PIPEs of $1 million or more by U.S. issuers. The data includes traditional PIPE offerings of unregistered shares, registered directs, at-the-money offerings, conﬁdentially marketed public offerings and equity lines.
PrivateRaise also tracks data from special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which raise capital in initial public offerings in order to bring private companies public through mergers.
PrivateRaise tracks Rule 144A offerings, but that data is not included in PIPE numbers.
Healthcare PIPEs led the ﬁeld in the total number of transactions, while the energy industry yielded some of the biggest offerings.
The quarter's deals ranged from $1 million offerings to Enbridge Inc.'s $1.18 billion stock placement.
Over the course of the quarter, more than 115 PIPEs of $25 million or less raised more than $1 billion for early stage medical and biotech companies, many of them very literally searching for a cure for cancer.
Preliminary data compiled through Dec. 22 highlights industry players that have been consistently active in recent years.
Final quarterly data and league tables will be released in January, but data put together with barely a week left in the year illustrates extensive deal activity from players whose names are familiar to PIPE market observers: H.C. Wainwright & Co., Cantor Fitzgerald & Co., Chardan Capital Markets, Lincoln Park Capital, Sabby Management LLC, Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP, Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, Cooley LLP, Goodwin Procter LLP, Morrison & Foerster LLP and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.
The ﬁnalized league tables that will published later in January will reveal the roles of these and many other premier dealmakers that make the PIPEs market a popular capital sourcing venue for a wide range of companies from pre-revenue biotechs to gargantuan energy and real estate companies.