By  on December 26, 2011

Companies are testing the initial public offering waters again, with the latest entrants being fashion firm Michael Kors Holdings Ltd., which began trading publicly on Dec. 15, and luggage and accessories company Tumi Holdings Inc., which filed its registration statement Dec. 13 in anticipation of an IPO next year.

In Hong Kong, Chow Tai Fook, a major jewelry player in Greater China, also went public on Dec. 15, raising about $2 billion in the process.

Angie’s List, an online consumer review Web site, made its debut on Nov. 17, after pricing its 8.8 million shares at $13 the night before. The shares reached a high of $18.75 in its first day of trading before closing at $16.26. It has since been trading in the $16.50 range.

Online daily deals site Groupon Inc. went public Nov. 4 and two other firms completed their IPOs in October.

Groupon began trading at $28. The company raised its offering by 5 million shares to 35 million and raised $700 million in its IPO, making it the largest IPO by an Internet firm since the $1.7 billion raised by Google Inc. in 2004. Lately, Groupon has been trading in the $22 to $23 range.

Volatility in the global equity markets in late August and September had some firms in line to go public rethinking the timing of their offerings.

Hudson’s Bay Co., parent of Lord & Taylor and The Bay in Canada, postponed plans for an IPO in early October, electing to wait for more favorable market conditions. The company had planned to offer 20 percent of the firm’s stock with a listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Now the tide appears to be turning again and firms are looking to go public while the window is still open. Here’s the lineup for 2012:

Yelp Inc. filed its preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Nov. 17. The online reviews Web site, likely to go public early next year, is looking to raise $100 million in its IPO. The company said it posted net revenues of $58.4 million for the nine months ended Sept. 30, an 80 percent jump from the $32.5 million for the same period in 2010. It had an operating loss of $7.4 million for the nine months.

In September, private equity firm The Carlyle Group, which has several holdings in the fashion world, filed a registration statement with the SEC for a proposed IPO. While the filing listed an offering size of $100 million, sources said an offering before the end of the first quarter of 2012 could be closer to $1 billion. Once public, Carlyle will join the ranks of competing buyout firms that have already gone the IPO route: Apollo Global Management, The Blackstone Group and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.

Also waiting in the wings to take his namesake company public is Brunello Cucinelli. He is planning on a spring IPO, with the listing in Italy. London-based jeweler Graff Diamonds is planning to raise as much as $1 billion via an IPO, possibly in Hong Kong.

Italian motorcycle maker Ducati also is reportedly considering an IPO in Hong Kong, as is Sitoy Group. Sitoy is a Hong Kong-based handbag firm that supplies to Prada.

Social networking firm Facebook is said to be targeting a time frame of April to June for its IPO, possibly raising $10 billion and making it the largest IPO by a U.S. technology or Internet firm. Also, flash-sale site Gilt Groupe is mulling an IPO. Gilt Groupe founder and chief executive officer Kevin Ryan told WWD that the earliest the firm would consider an IPO is between the “fourth quarter of 2012 or in 2013.”

The Pambianco consultancy, at its annual summit in Milan in early November, identified 50 Italian firms that have the right characteristics for an IPO. Criteria it considered include annual volume and growth of sales over the last three years. Topping the list was Dolce & Gabbana. Also included were Giorgio Armani, Calzedonia/Intimissimi, Diesel’s Only the Brave and the Ermenegildo Zegna Group.

According to David Galper, managing director for consumer and retail investment banking at KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc., “We are optimistic that the macro environment and valuations will be better next year, so the IPO market should be stronger.”

One name to keep an eye on is luxury retailer Neiman Marcus Inc., which was taken private by Texas Pacific Group and Warburg Pincus in 2005 in a $5.1 billion deal. Spokesmen for Warburg and TPG each declined comment.

A few IPOs that had their debut this year are considered “underwater” as the shares are trading below their offering price. At least one, Ferragamo, is still holding its own, relatively speaking.

Ferragamo’s stock is trading around 10 euros, or $13.16, essentially flat from its June IPO in Milan at 9.95 euros. All conversions to U.S. dollars are at current exchange.

Prada also went public in June in Hong Kong. Its shares are trading in the range of 33 Hong Kong dollars, or $4.24, a 16.4 percent decline from its debut at 39.50 in Hong Kong dollars.

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