IPO Update: Native Ad Firm OutBrain Enlists Bankers for $1bil Offering blog update with coverage of Tel Aviv-based native-ad company Outbrain Inc. is courtesy WSJ’s Orr Hirschauge.

TEL AVIV—Outbrain Inc., a provider of “native ads,” filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month seeking preliminary approval to list shares on the Nasdaq Stock Market, according to people familiar with the matter.

If a decision is made to go ahead, Outbrain is expected to seek a valuation of around $1 billion, according to one person familiar with the matter.

It is unclear how much of the company it would seek to sell in any listing.

Outbrain has tapped brokerdealers Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan as lead underwriters for any listing, these people said. If the filing passes SEC scrutiny, the company is aiming to go public in the first quarter of 2015, according to these people.

Founded in Israel in 2006, Outbrain was a pioneer in native advertising, or ads that are meant to be more integrated into a website than other forms of ads, like pop-ups and banner ads. It is now based in New York.

Outbrain places content, like recommended further reading, on a website, linking to the publisher’s own content or sponsored content. Currently employing around 430 people, the company has raised roughly $100 million in the past from a list of investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners, Carmel Ventures, Glenrock Israel, Gemini Israel Funds Ltd., Index Ventures, Vintage Partners and HarbourVest Partners LLC.

To read the complete coverage, please visit the WSJ via this link


Top BrokerDealer Swings For Celebs & Sports Stars’ Wallets: Morgan Stanley Push blog update courtesy of extract from Investment News

tysonmikeboxingapmi-resize-600x3386-Pack Broker-Dealer Morgan Stanley, whose brokerage helps manage more than $2 trillion of client assets, started a new unit that focuses on professional athletes and entertainers. This new initiative could prove to be prime meat for Morgan’s investment bankers and high-net worth advisors, when considering the many instances in which celebs and sports stars have faltered in their investment strategies.

The division has 69 advisers and will add a few more within the next year, Drew Hawkins, head of the Global Sports & Entertainment group, said Thursday. Many of them already had been working with celebrities, and brokers took a three-day training program on how to cater to those clients, he said.

Other brokerdealers have carved out a niche in their local markets to serve celebs and athletes; a full listing of those BDs is available via

Athlete pay has surged in recent years, with Giancarlo Stanton, a Miami Marlins outfielder, poised to sign a $325 million contract over 13 years, a Major League Baseball record, according to Kevin Durant, the National Basketball League’s reigning most-valuable player, re-signed as a Nike Inc. endorser with a contract worth $300 million over 10 years, Bloomberg News reported in September.

“The size of these contracts and the amount these individuals are earning tends to increase on a daily basis,” Hawkins said. “Celebrities and entertainers and those connected with those industries in a lot of cases make a lot of money, but they also have a lot of unique circumstances.”

Morgan Stanley will provide customized loans to the individuals and their outside businesses, offer insurance against injuries or voice damage and give advice on philanthropic endeavors, Hawkins said. He declined to identify any of the firm’s celebrity clients.

Residential Real-Estate & Commercial Builder IPOs: BrokerDealers and Investors Balancing New Home Builders v. Single-Building blog update profiles divergence between IPO opportunities for new home builders v. a new trend among commercial real estate developers raising capital in the initial public offering market for specific projects.

ipoAs best illustrated by 2 side-by-side articles in Nov 19 Wall Street Journal, broker-dealers and investment bankers are cautioning that the door on home builders wanting to good public is closing, as higher mortgage rates and tight mortgage-qualification standards continue to dampen the residential developer IPO space, not to mention in that home-builder stocks have slumped. Given the deluge in the overall U.S. IPO market, residential real estate developers are being pushed into the woodshed, at least for now. The full story on this topic is at the WSJ.

The better news for bankers and Issuers can be found in the nascent stage interest for “single-building” IPOs. Leading the pack is a New York start-up ETRE Financial LLC, which plans to bring this novel structure to the capital markets early next year. The building that will be floated is the State Street Financial Center, the Boston office tower owned by a venture led by Fortis Property Group.

According to reporting by WSJ staffers Eliot Brown and Robbie Whelan, the structure proposed by ETRE is somewhat complex, yet ETRE co-founder Jesse Stein states, “By providing investors with the opportunity to invest in a single asset, you’re actually increasing the opportunity to diversify.”




Virgin America Flies High With IPO; Investors Touched For The Very First Time

Shares of the Discount Airline Close at $30, Up 30% from the IPO Price blog update courtesy of extract from WSJ. A complete directory of brokerdealers who participated in underwriting the airline industry’s first initial public offering in quite a while can be found via the database.

Virgin America Inc. took off Friday, as shares of the discount airline rose more than 30% in their market debut.

Virgin America Fly Girls PremiereThe stock, which began trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol “VA,” closed at $30, giving the company a market value of about $1.3 billion. Earlier Friday, shares opened at $27 and hit a high of $31.19. Virgin America’s initial public offering of about 13.3 million shares was priced at $23 each, at the higher end of the carrier’s initial range of $21 to $24 a share and valuing the Burlingame, Calif., company at $994 million. The first-day pop exceeds the average 13% gain IPOs have notched so far this year according to IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital.

Virgin America currently has a market capitalization of $1.3 billion.

Following the IPO, Virgin America expects to have about 43.2 million shares in total, leaving Cyrus Capital Partners LP and Virgin Group Ltd. as the company’s largest shareholders.

PAR Investment Partners LP has agreed separately to purchase 2.3 million shares for about 96% of the IPO price, or about $50 million, from the controlling shareholders in a private placement. The IPO is expected to raise about $220 million in net proceeds, which Virgin America said it plans to use for working capital, sales and marketing, and capital expenditures. Selling shareholders won’t receive any proceeds.

For the full story from WSJ, please click here

BrokerDealer Banks Bagged in IPO Mess: Finra Claims Conflict of Interest is Widespread blog update courtesy of excerpt from Bloomberg LP and reporters Leslie Picker and Dakin Campbell

conflictWall Street brokerdealers are changing the way they pitch for IPOs as investment banks prepare to settle with regulators, people with knowledge of the matter said, following claims analysts inflated estimates to win business for their banks.

The settlement with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, which may be announced next month, will focus on meetings between analysts and companies ahead of their IPOs, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. At least seven banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), may be asked to pay a fine of about $50 million collectively as part of an agreement, the people said.

“We cannot confirm the existence of enforcement investigations or related matters,” Nancy Condon, a spokeswoman for Finra, said in a statement.

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