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IPO Market Showing Signs Of Softening?

The IPO market, which saw a nice revival in 2009 following a 2-year lull, may be plateauing. Recently, Travelport LLC postponed its initial public offering in London, and Graham Packaging priced its offering at the low end of the recently estimated range.

Travelport LLC, announced on Wednesday that it has decided against proceeding with the IPO and the listing of its shares on the London Stock Exchange at this time, citing market conditions. Travelport had expected to raise as much as $1.775 billion though the offering. Travelport also announced the termination of its debt tender offer.

Travelport Ltd., which is the indirect parent company of Travelport LLC, is a provider of critical transaction processing solutions. Travelport Ltd. owns approximately 48% of online travel company Orbitz Worldwide (OWW).

Travelport Ltd. is owned by affiliates of Blackstone, One Equity Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures and Travelport management.

In another development, Graham Packaging Company Inc., a plastic container maker, priced its initial public offering of 16.66 million shares at $10 per share, which is at the lower end of the recently estimated price range of $10 to $11 per share. Previously, Graham Packaging had expected to price the offering in the $14 to $16 per share range.

According to recent filings, the company and selling stockholders planned offering an aggregate of 23.33 million shares. Although The company is proceeding with its plan of offering 16.66 million shares, the selling stockholder have now opted not to offer any shares.

In addition, Graham Packaging has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 2.50 million shares.

Graham Packaging's shares are expected to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on February 11 under the ticker symbol "GRM," and the offering is expected to close on February 17.

Citi, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Deutsche Bank Securities are acting as joint bookrunning managers, while BofA Merrill Lynch, UBS Investment Bank, KeyBanc Capital Markets, Baird and Chapin Davis Inc. are acting as co-managers for this offering.

At this juncture, Blackstone Group (BX) may face rough weather if it proceeds with its plans for the initial public offer of up to eight companies it owns and the sale of at least five others. In October 2009, the company had reportedly made public its intention to offer to the public shares in some of its portfolio companies.

Blackstone-backed Team Health Holdings, Inc., (TMH) came public in December 2009, by pricing its initial public offering at $12 per share, below its estimated offering price range of $14 to $16 per share. TMH closed the last trading session at $14.39.

BX closed Wednesday's trading session at $12.44.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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