IPO Report 2020: Heightened Activity Brings Lessons for 2021

Wall StreetWall Street

Helen Bradley Global Chair of Capital Markets, Baker McKenzie | 2020 has been a historic year in many ways and when it comes to IPO activity, it is no different. This year, the world has seen the highest IPO capital raising activity in a decade, with USD 331 billion raised across 1,591 listings.

This growth in value is primarily due to a steady increase in the number of megadeals (valued at over USD 1 billion) over the last five years, driven by Mainland Chinese and US companies. Sino-US tensions, COVID-19 and the 2020 US elections have also significantly impacted activity and led to a number of major changes for key stock exchanges, which have contributed to a growing shift in the balance between cross-border and domestic listings, as key changes in certain jurisdictions are encouraging many to list closer to home.

Throughout the year, we have seen fluctuations in market activity, dictated by the global slowdown, as COVID-19 impacted both developed and emerging economies across the world in Q1 and Q2. The strong boost in IPO activity is accounted for by Q3 2020, when high market liquidity and the rebound of markets saw the volume of listings more than double as compared with Q2 2020.

2020 also saw the highest number of US companies going public in 20 years, the vast majority of which were domestic listings. This is also the first time in history that US companies have raised over USD 100 billion through IPOs. In Latin America, Brazil also recorded the largest number of IPOs since 2007 with 26 IPOs on the B3 stock exchange, representing USD 8 billion. This is the first double-digit figure since 2017.

This historic year has also seen emerging trends in how companies are choosing to go public and raise capital, most notably the marked increase in Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) in the US, with 2020 also seeing the largest SPAC IPO in history.

As the world turns its attention to managing economic and business recovery in Q4 2020 and beyond, we look to understand the key themes and trends that may impact IPO activity in 2021.

In this report, you will find key thoughts built with market data and expert insights on:

  • Overall IPO activity and key drivers of growth
  • VC- and PE- backed activity
  • Industry frontrunners and alternate routes to listing
  • Geopolitical, regional and stock exchange trends
  • The increasing importance of ESG to corporates, boards, banks and investors.

As always, we look forward to taking the conversation further with you, working together to prepare for the year ahead in 2021.

Read More:


About the Author

The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.