IPO bloodbath continues

August 11, 2011, 12:06 AM UTC
Fortune

So much for the week’s planned IPO boom.



The IPO calendar got even sparser today, with three more companies postponing their offerings until… Well, until whenever the market volatility calms down a bit.

That means just four of the week’s proposed 12 offerings are still on tap, and it’s only Wednesday. Today’s can-kickers were: Loyalty Alliance, a provider of mobile customer loyalty solutions in China; WhiterGlove Health, a provider of at-home and at-work healthcare services; and WageWorks, a provider of employee and retiree benefits services. Moreover, Carbonite — which I called the best bet to price this week — slashed its proposed IPO size by more than 26%.

I’m not quite giving up yet on Carbonite, which still is hoping to price. After all, why cut your range if the plan is postponement?

But perhaps the new clubhouse leader is Trustwave, a Chicago-based provider of on-demand data security and payment card industry compliance management solutions. Not because of its underlying financials or offering plans (6.25m shares between $15-$17), but because one of its PR reps offered up an interview with CEO Robert McCullen “following the first trade and/or before the closing bell.” More specifically, the PR rep reached out today — when the Dow was already down more than 350 points.

When I questioned her timing, she replied that the company remains “very confident” it can price. And since this particular market meltdown is all about confidence — or the lack thereof — who am I to argue?

I also spent some time on the phone with Scott Gehsmann, a capital markets partner with PwC Transaction Services. His group helps companies prepare to go public, and is remaining bullish on the 2011 IPO market:

“We see this as a very, very short-term bump in the road,” he said. “Up until now it’s been a very good year for IPOs, including tech IPOs, and a few days of extreme volatility doesn’t mean the year is over… Companies are just postponing their deals, not killing them.”

Updates: Well, turns out I was right on the first one and not on the second one. Carbonite priced its IPO last night, albeit at the low end of its range. Trustwave, on the other hand, has postponed “due to market conditions.”