A BDO survey found that 30 percent of capital markets executives forecast an uptick in retail-consumer initial public offerings this year.
According to Ted Vaughan, partner in the Retail and Consumer Products practice at BDO USA, there are several encouraging signs that could boost IPO activity in 2013.
“The markets are more liquid, and there’s more stability. Those are strong factors for IPOs in general,” Vaughan said.
It helps too that, at least in the U.S., the presidential election is over, as is the impact of Hurricane Sandy and concerns over the fiscal cliff. All are factors that Vaughan said led to a temporary dip in consumer spending that resulted in solid, although not stellar, holiday sales.
Last year, the international front saw the flotation of Brunello Cucinelli SpA on the Italian bourse, and more could be on the horizon. Already there’s talk that Lapo Elkann, founder of Italia Independent, is eyeing the possibility of an IPO.
According to Vaughan, there are also private equity firms that have held on to investments longer than usual as they wait out the economic malaise that began in December 2007 hoping for a better exit strategy than just flipping an asset to another private equity buyer.
Data from Intrepid Investment Bankers indicate that in 2012 there were a total of 36 IPOs in Asia, 10 in Europe and 13 in the U.S. The data capture IPO activity across the retail-restaurants, apparel, footwear and accessories and beauty categories.
In the U.S. consumer space for 2013, Kellwood Co.-owned Vince has been mulling an IPO since October. Kellwood is owned by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, although the Vince brand was acquired before the financial firm bought Kellwood.
Last week, Etsy hired Kristina Salen, a portfolio manager at Fidelity, as the firm’s chief financial officer. That’s a move that fueled speculation that the online marketplace for homemade goods is also looking to go public.
Should Etsy actually go public, that in turn could boost venture capital investment again, which saw a slowdown in the last quarter for fund-raising activity given what seemed to be a paucity of exit-strategy options for venture capitalists.
On the economic front, there also are positive indications that the IPO window could stay open for some time.
At a New York Society of Securities Analysts market forecast event last month, Sam Stovall, chief equity strategist at Standard and Poor’s, said that a Congress-induced recession risk has dropped to 15 percent, compared with a 20 percent to 25 percent risk late last year before an agreement on the fiscal cliff.
“The risk is to the upside rather than the downside,” he said, referring to economic growth going forward. His firm’s projection is for higher growth in the back end of 2013.
Also last month, at the Turnaround Management Association’s annual economic outlook presentation, Edward I. Altman, the Max L. Heine Professor of Finance at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said that “while [the U.S.] is clearly not out of the woods yet,” the chance of a recession here has diminished.
Altman also noted that while it was too early to tell, there are early indications of a sector rotation where the movement of investment money could be headed back to equities from the bonds.
That’s a move that could help bring new issues to market as optimism and an improved economy, as well as a rising stock prices, typically boost the flow of IPO offerings due to investor interest.
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)
The @cfda has shifted the dates of #NYFW, with Men’s showing on February 5 through February 7, and Women’s will directly follow, running from February 8 through 14. The preliminary schedule will be released on the CFDA’s web site in the next few days, but Mark Beckham, VP of marketing for the CFDA, revealed that @rafsimons will be back to close the men’s-specific part of the week with a show on February 7 #wwdfashion (📷: Kelly Taub)
@ferragamo is introducing a new space dedicated to the development of women’s and men’s leather good samples. The laboratory, which is created eco-friendly materials and designed to reduce the environmental impact of the manufacturing processes, will allow the company to expand its accessories offering through traditional artisanal approaches. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
How does a “regular, degular, schmegular” girl from the Bronx, N.Y., become a Grammy-nominated artist with a certified platinum record in less than a year? Call it the @iamcardib come up. The 25-year-old has become a musical sensation, and the fashion world is taking note. “If I could describe her style I would say drama. She’s really into the dramatics,” says Cardi B’s stylist @kollincarter. See how Carter styles her bold and out there looks with the link in bio. #wwdfashion
“There is no formula. There is no guideline. I can watch Ted Talks all day, but there is no one who can advise me on exactly what it is I should be doing,” said @ronniefieg, CEO of @kith, in an interview with WWD’s @ariahughes at the brand’s new SoHo office in Manhattan. Head to WWD.com to see how Fieg went from hanging out in shoe stockrooms at 13 to building his own business. #wwdfashion (📷: @weston.wells)
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion