Companies are racing to public markets like never before, cashing in on record-high stock prices.
An all-time high of almost $350 billion has been raised in initial public offerings in the first six months of this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, surpassing the previous peak of $282 billion from the second half of 2020 and enriching entrepreneurs and bankers alike.
When the rush for IPOs kicked off last year, stay-at-home technology dominated the scene, seizing on investor interest in anything digital, while special-purpose acquisition companies also flooded the market. This year, with stocks continuing to push skyward, the trend has broadened to include renewable-energy companies and online retailers.
Everyone from Swedish oat-milk company Oatly Group AB to bootmaker Dr. Martens Plc sold shares in 2021. Still, tech accounts for a big chunk of the deals. Didi Global Inc. will rank among the biggest U.S. IPOs of the past decade if the Chinese ride-hailing giant carries through with plans to sell as much as $4 billion in stock.
“The markets from New York to Hong Kong were on fire in the first half of this year and have left even the late 90s dotcom boom era in the rearview mirror,” said Aaron Arth, head of the financing group at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in Asia ex-Japan.