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Fenwick & West was founded in 1972 in the heart of Silicon Valley—before “Silicon Valley” existed—by four visionary lawyers who left a top-tier New York law firm to pursue their shared belief that technology would revolutionize the business world and to pioneer the legal work for those technological innovations. In order to be most effective, they decided they needed to move to a location close to primary research and technology development. These four attorneys opened their first office in downtown Palo Alto, and Fenwick became one of the first technology law firms in the world.  MORE >

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Fenwick IPO Survey Shows Strength of Late 2013 Market

Currently Choppy Technology and Life Sciences Market May Open Up Later in the Year

Mountain View, CA (April 24, 2014) – Today, law firm Fenwick & West announced the results of its 2013 technology and life sciences IPO survey. The IPO survey revealed that in 2013 the number of technology and life sciences IPOs rose 62% from 2012. “Key Metrics for Recent Technology and Life Sciences Initial Public Offerings,” authored by Fenwick partners Dan Winnike and Jeff Vetter, reveals a very strong technology and life science IPO market in 2013, igniting in the second quarter.  

“What everyone is wondering now is whether the bloom is off the rose,” said Vetter of the currently choppy reception technology and life sciences offerings are receiving. “Though that seems a bit short sighted, especially coming off of such a strong close to 2013 when the speed with which IPOs were getting done and the number of new issuers coming back to market with follow-ons demonstrated an unusually robust appetite for new offerings. We’d like to see the same second half trend in 2014.” 

Additional insights found in the Fenwick IPO survey, include:

  • Life sciences offerings thrive with certain metrics unseen since 1999:
    • The life sciences sector continued its trend of increased growth in the number of IPOs, slightly outpacing the technology sector in the second half of 2013 with 23 (life sciences) to 22 (technology) offerings.
    • In the second half of 2013, 61% of life sciences offerings raised more than $75 million compared with 44% in the first half.
    • The stock of 83% of the life sciences companies completing IPOs in the second half of 2013 traded up in their first day of trading, compared to 64% for technology companies completing IPOs during the period.  
  • Follow-on offerings indicate strength of market:
    • Eleven of the companies completing IPOs in the second half of 2013 also completed a follow-on offering within six months of their IPO.
  • JOBS Act a possible contributor to IPO pipeline:
    • For the first time since the law was enacted, all 43 technology and life sciences companies completing IPOs in the second half of 2013 that were eligible to file confidentially under the JOBS Act did so.

While the market is currently choppy in 2014, Fenwick is still noticing an uptick among our clients filing to go public.

“Fenwick advised our company and underwriter clients on 10 completed IPOs last year, 5 thus far in 2014 with more than a dozen in the pipeline,” said Winnike. “We are optimistic that the 2014 IPO market can be as strong, if not stronger, than it was last year.”

To see the full survey results, graphical representation of the data or for more analysis and information, please visit fenwick.com/iposurvey.

About Fenwick & West
Fenwick & West provides comprehensive legal services to ground-breaking technology and life sciences companies at every stage of their lifecycle. We craft innovative, cost-effective and practical solutions for established and emerging companies on issues ranging from venture capital, public offerings, joint ventures, M&A and strategic relationships, to intellectual property, litigation and dispute resolution, taxation, antitrust, and employment and labor law. For more than four decades, Fenwick has helped some of the world's most recognized companies become and remain market leaders.