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Get ready for the year’s biggest IPO week

After months of sluggish IPO activity, the U.S. markets are expecting a veritable flood of new issues this week.

Ten companies are expected to raise upwards of $5 billion, according to research firm Renaissance Capital. For context, U.S. IPOs raised just $5.2 billion in the entire third quarter (including just $2.4 billion in August and September), and the busiest week to date came in late June when 13 companies raised just shy of $2 billion.

Leading the way will be First Data, an Atlanta-based payments technology company that would raise $3 billion if it prices its 160 million shares in the middle of its $18-$20 range. That would be the year’s largest IPO to date. First Data was originally taken private in 2007 by buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. (KKR), and received additional investment last year.

Also expected is the year’s second-largest IPO: Albertsons, the Idaho-based supermarket giant that completed its acquisition of Safeway earlier this year. The company, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management, would raise $1.56 billion if it prices its 63.5 million shares in the middle of its $23-$26 offering range.

The only other company expected to raise more than $100 million via IPO this week is American Farmland Co., while the remaining offerings include four biotech companies.

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