Triple U.S. Trading Debut Caps 2020’s Best Week for Listings

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Companies going public this week raised more than $7.3 billion in initial public offerings, showing the rebounding strength of listings globally even as the coronavirus pandemic continues and social justice protests spread in the U.S.

It was the biggest week for IPOs globally this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Three newly public companies — two of them with ties to China — made their trading debuts on U.S. exchanges Friday. All of them exceeded earlier fundraising goals, with two of them delivering heady first-day pops for investors.

Legend Biotech Corp., a subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Genscript Biotech Corp., rose as much as 74% from its offer price after raising $424 million, pricing its shares above the marketed range. The shares closed up 61% to $37 in New York trading.Shift4 Payments Inc., a software company that powers payment and money transfers, priced its shares at $23 apiece, raising $345 million. The shares, which jumped as much as 52%, climbed 46% to $33.54, giving the Allentown, Pennsylvania-based company a market value of $1.4 billion.Chinese e-commerce firm Dada Nexus Ltd., which rose as much as 16% after the opening bell, lost those gains, closing 1 cent below its $16 offer price. The operator of crowd-sourced delivery platforms sold 20 million shares, up from the 16.5 million initially offered, to raise $320 million.

Those deals come on the heels of ZoomInfo Technologies Inc.’s $935 million listing, in which its shares briefly doubled in value after the opening bell Thursday for the biggest initial gain in a decade for a company of its size or larger in the U.S., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The business intelligence firm closed its first day up 62% and climbed 14% more Friday.

Blackout Tuesday

On Wednesday, Warner Music Group Corp. made its debut after a $1.93 billion IPO, the largest this year in the U.S. Its shares have climbed 20% since then.

Warner Music didn’t announce the results of its share sale until hours before they began trading to avoid doing so on what was designated Blackout Tuesday. Musicians and other entertainers refrained from performing — including the live-streamed events that have flourished during the pandemic — to support protests against police brutality spurred by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In Hong Kong, NetEase Inc., China’s second-largest gaming company, raised about HK$21 billion ($2.7 billion) in a stock offering, people with knowledge of the matter said. The company, already listed in New York, is expected to start trading in Hong Kong on June 11. With NetEase’s pricing Friday, the sum raised by IPOs for the week pushed past the total for the second week of January, previously 2020’s biggest.

The warm reception of some Chinese deals shows investors are brushing off the Trump administration’s threat to limit the access to capital by the Asian nation’s companies in the U.S. It may also signal that investors are looking past the coronavirus pandemic that has idled much of the world’s economy.

Shift4, which processes transactions for restaurants and hotels, said in a filing that the transaction volume of its merchants fell by at least 80% from before the pandemic and it expects the decline to continue for the foreseeable future.

‘Social Beings’

The company was ready to launch its IPO in March but delayed the offering until it saw positive signals from their merchants, Chief Executive Officer Jared Isaacman said in an interview. He said the virtual roadshow process included meetings with more than 300 investors.

“The world will keep on turning as we’re social beings,” Isaacman said.

Shift4’s IPO was led by Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse Group AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. The shares are trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol FOUR.

Read more: IPOs Revive With Warner Music Kicking Off $6.4 Billion Week

Legend Biotech and Dada Nexus were the second- and third-largest listings in the U.S. this year by Chinese companies or by firms with a China-based parent. The largest remains the $510 million IPO by cloud computing company Kingsoft Cloud Holdings, which was the first Chinese company to brave the U.S. markets after the spectacular downfall of Luckin Coffee Inc. amid an accounting scandal.

Goldman Sachs, Bank of America Corp. and Jefferies Financial Group Inc. led Dada Nexus’s offering. Its shares are trading on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the symbol DADA.

The Legend Biotech listing was steered by Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Jefferies, with the company’s shares on the Nasdaq Global Select market under the symbol LEGN.

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