The 2008 New England IPO List: The Dead, the Aging, and the Newly Born
It seems like it’s only a matter of time before more New England tech firms with active registrations for IPOs throw in the towel due to the punishing market for public offerings. Only one area technology company, Merrimack, NH-based GT Solar (NASDAQ: SOLR), has completed an IPO this year—and it’s already feeling the pain of being a publicly traded company, facing shareholder lawsuits for alleged misleading and false claims made in its prospectus. Meanwhile, last week, Worcester, MA-based semiconductor firm Allegro MicroSystems became the latest in a string of New England high-tech firms to call off its IPO.
The IPO malaise isn’t confined to this region, of course. Reuters reported last week that there have only been three tech IPOs in the entire country in 2008. So I asked Eric Hjerpe, a partner at Atlas Venture in Waltham, the multibillion-dollar question: When will the IPO drought end? “They are saying the middle to late next year,” says Hjerpe, whose focus is IT. He refers to “they” as the venture capitalists and private equity players who attended a luncheon in Boston earlier this month hosted by the New York Stock Exchange. Naturally, Hjerpe says there was some griping in the room.
Indeed, Xconomy’s list of IPO candidates back in January has winnowed some, and only a few brave firms have since added their names to the planned IPO roster. Below is our roundup (complete with their hoped-for stock symbols) of “The Dead” (pulled at least for the time being), “The Aging,” and “The Newly Born” IPO proposals to date in 2008. Let us know about any we missed at [email protected], or by posting a comment below:
The Dead —
Allegro MicroSystems — Worcester, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $115 million
Recent news: Besides dropping its IPO last week, the producer of integrated circuits and sensors said earlier this month that it had released a new digital latch sensor for the automotive industry and other industrial customers.
Archemix — Cambridge, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $69 million
Recent news: This month, the developer of aptamer drugs—which are short sequences of nucleic acids such as RNA and DNA—announced it would receive an initial $6 million of a possible total of $200 million from life sciences firm Ribomic in exchange for a license to develop aptamers for certain disease targets.
BG Medicine — Waltham, MA
Former proposed maximum offering price: $80 million
Recent news: The molecular diagnostics firm, which was the first company on this list to drop its IPO plans, drew $40 million from the venture capital well in July in a Series D financing.
Elixir Pharmaceuticals — Cambridge, MA
Former proposed maximum offering: $86 million
Recent news: The drug developer inked an agreement with Boston University in July to license modulators of anti-aging enzymes called sirtuins.
NitroSecurity — Portsmouth, NH
Former proposed maximum offering price: $55 million
Recent news: Shelving IPO aspirations for now, NitroSecurity announced last week that it secured $10 million in a VC round to fund market expansion and product development.
The Aging —
GlassHouse Technologies (GLAS) — Framingham, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $100 million
Latest filing: 05/05/08
Recent news: The provider of data-center management and Internet-based data backup services acquired U.K.-based IT consulting firm TTP Group in June.
NameMedia (NAME) — Waltham, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $173 million
Latest filing: 4/25/08
Recent news: The owner of specialized Web domains reported in July that its Craftster.org website was taking entries for creative ways to draw attention to climate change.
POGO Jet (POGO) — Chicopee, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $104 million
Latest filing: 3/17/08
Recent news: POGO, which plans to begin providing on-demand jet charter service in early 2009, revealed in March that its IPO plans were on hold due to poor market conditions. (It’s not exactly tech, but its Zipcar-meets-JetBlue plan deserves notice.)
TransMedics (TMDX) — Andover, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $86 million
Latest filing: 12/14/07
Recent news: There’s been no evidence of movement on the IPO front, but the developer of systems to transport live organs for transplantation is still in the hunt to go public.
The Newly Born —
A123 Systems (AONE) — Watertown, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $175 million
Filed: 8/8/08 (also latest filing)
Recent news: If you weren’t already aware, the provider of lithium-ion batteries confirmed Xconomy’s hunch that the 08.08.08 filing date was intended to hue to Chinese numerology.
BioTrove (BTRV) — Woburn, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $75 million
Latest Filing: 6/27/08 Recent news: The provider of genomic research and drug discovery products reported this month that it opened its first European office in London to serve clients on the other side of the pond
First Wind (WNDY) — Newton, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $450 million
Filed: 7/31/08 (also latest filing)
Recent news: In the middle of the biggest IPO drought in years, this developer and owner of wind farms proposes to raise up to $450 million in its public debut.
Gomez (GOMZ) — Lexington, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $80.5 million
Latest filing: 8/7/08
Recent news: The firm, which offers website performance monitoring services, launched its “Business Pulse XF” dashboard to enable executives to view key indicators of website success.
LogMeIn (LOGM) — Woburn, MA
Proposed maximum offering price: $86.3 million
Latest filing: 8/7/08
Recent news: Earlier this month, the maker of software to give businesses remote access to computers and other devices connected to the Internet announced the launch of an application designed for IT support technicians and help desks.
STR Holdings (PVS) — Enfield, CT
Proposed maximum offering price: $300 million
Filed: 7/31/08 (also latest filing)
Recent news: The owner of Specialized Technology Resources supplies energy companies such as BP Solar and First Solar with plastic laminents and encapsulants that coat semiconducting materials used in solar panels.
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