Last month I wrote about Nobao Renewable Energy Holdings, a Chinese energy efficiency company that canceled a planned IPO “in light of market conditions.” More specifically, I called the explanation a self-serving excuse. “Market conditions” have been just fine for IPOs — particularly Chinese companies and cleantech companies. The only market condition was that the market apparently didn’t take a shine to Nobao Renewable Energy.
Today the culprit is Sabre Industries Inc., a Pennsylvania-based maker of products for wireless communications and electric transmission and distribution infrastructure. It had been scheduled to go public later this week, selling seven million shares at between $12 and $14 per share. Now, however, it’s pulled the registration “due to the current pricing environment for initial public offerings.”
Again, the current pricing environment for IPOs is fine. Seventeen companies went public on U.S. exchanges last month: Seven of them priced above their proposed offering range, two priced within their range and eight priced below their range. Seems like a pretty even split. And if Fusion-io prices strong this week (i.e., if investors can get over its reliance on Facebook) then the lie is really put to Sabre’s statement.
There simply must be something specific to Sabre that caused pricing heartburn at America’s mutual and hedge funds. And that’s okay. It happens. But it’s better to own the blame, rather than pass the buck.