Opinion

Ben Walsh

The IPO vacation calendar

By Ben Walsh
December 3, 2013

The Chrysler IPO won’t happen this year. There are many not-entirely-straightforward reasons, which Antony Currie details. But there’s also the relatively simple issue of time: there are only three full calendar weeks left in 2013, and the company apparently ran into issues it couldn’t resolve in short order.

But if you look at the data, the end of the year is actually a very busy time for IPOs.

This chart uses Thomson Reuters IPO data from 2002-2012 to show each week of the year’s median percent contribution to the number of IPOs (blue) and the proceeds raised from those IPOs (red). For instance, a typical sixth week of the year, a/k/a mid-February, accounts for 3% of the year’s number of IPOs, 2% of the proceeds raised.

More simply, the chart above is an IPO vacation calendar. Late-August through mid-September is a dead zone; there’s a highly-civilized lull around Thanksgiving; a big end-of-the-year rush in mid-December, then nothing through the holidays and the New Year. It’s also nice to know that corporate issuers seem to take Presidents’ Day, or at least family ski vacations, quite seriously.

And if you narrow the data to the relatively IPO barren post-crisis years of 2009-2011, the seasonality becomes even more pronounced.

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