Hot on the heels of the first mortgage-backed securities deal in several decades, the initial public offering market has begun to stir after its period of economic crisis-induced dormancy.
First to the post is British asset manager Gartmore Group, which said it will list on the London Stock Exchange next month. The reported £500 million stock sale will be used to cut debt, but also to allow its private equity masters, Hellman & Friedman, to finally earn a damned profit three-and-a-half years after financing Gartmore's management buyout.
The Journal says the Gartmore deal is the first of "a widely expected wave of initial public offerings of businesses owned by private-equity companies." Won't that be fun? Frankly, we've missed the excited announcements, ridiculous hype and hoopla, breathless waiting and inevitable disappoint that characterizes the best IPOs. It'll be good to have them back.
Of course, our enthusiasm is sadly tempered by the failure of one of the six IPOs planned for this very week. HealthPort Inc., a medical-record management company, failed to price on Wednesday, leading the company to postpone its coming-out party.
Fund Manager Gartmore Plans IPO [WSJ]
HealthPort IPO Postponed Due to Market Conditions [WSJ]