3 weeks and counting.. Post-Facebook IPO chill persists
FORTUNE — It has now been three weeks since Facebook (FB) went public. Or, put another way, it has now been three weeks since any company went public. Anywhere. Even diamond retailers and auto racing leagues couldn’t get out.
This is the IPO chill I first expressed concern about shortly after Facebook priced, and it seems to have come to pass. The only question now is whether or not the social network is to blame, or if it’s a reflection of Europe-centric macro issues.
Most market participants I speak with side with the latter. For example, yesterday I spent some time on the phone with Tom Kloet, CEO of the Toronto Stock Exchange (which is in the process of being acquired by Maple Group). He said that while TSX is trying to learn from the Facebook experience – particularly the technical issues faced by Nasdaq – he believes the recent lack of new issues is tied to broader economic uncertainties.
“You have lots of questions about Europe, concerns about the U.S. jobs market and the U.S. elections coming up,” Kloet said. “I think those factors are what most companies are thinking about in terms of new or secondary public listings, rather than about Facebook.”
Fair enough, although weren’t most of those same issues in play a month ago?
Isn’t it possible that traditional IPO buyers are backing off, worried that their implicit pops are no longer as likely? Again, this isn’t just a social or consumer tech issue. It’s expanded to enterprise, retail, healthcare, etc. After one or two weeks, maybe it was coincidence, particularly given the Memorial Day weekend. But with an empty IPO calendar for next week – and far more companies pulling registrations than filing new ones – it’s becoming an actual trend.
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