RPT-IPO VIEW-U.S. bankers, investors see strong 2010

* 2010 IPO pipeline strong-bankers, investors

* S&P 500 had worst month in almost a year

* Five IPOs expected this week
(Repeating item that initially moved on Friday)

By Clare Baldwin

NEW YORK, Jan 29 (BestGrowthStock) – The market for initial public
offerings started 2010 with some hesitation, but a promising
pipeline of IPOs offers a glimmer of hope for the coming
months, bankers and investors say.

Many of the strongest companies are still auditing their
2009 financial statements and putting together paperwork for
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, they said.

“The real evidence of this will not be until May, June,
July, but the drumbeats will get louder and louder along the
way. The lag is the filing procedures,” Deutsche Bank Global
Co-Head of Equity Capital Markets Mark Hantho said in an
interview with Reuters. “The quality of the backlog is the best
I have seen in a while.”

He said the backlog was across sectors.

Last year, 63 U.S.-based IPOs raised about $21.9 billion,
according to data from Renaissance Capital. The firm said 2010
could see upward of 100 IPOs and proceeds exceeding $40
billion.

But so far in 2010, a number of IPOs have slashed their
size and expected price range and several have shelved their
deals. Analysts say the deals have been overvalued and not
particularly strong.

Even stronger deals could have trouble getting off the
ground: The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) closed out its
worst month in almost a year. It fell 3.7 percent in January
and is off nearly 7 percent from its high this month.

Christopher Turner, managing director of private equity
firm Warburg Pincus, said he is cautiously optimistic.

Speaking at a conference organized last week by
Connecticut-based IPO research firm Renaissance Capital, Turner
said the IPO market is opportunistic and uncertain. Buyers want
cheap growth, are unwilling to tolerate any financial risk, and
are extremely price sensitive.

“We’re not at all telling ourselves or telling our
investors ‘Oh yeah, slam dunk, we’re going to get XYZ out there
in the first half of this year or the second half,’ because
there are no slam dunks right now in this IPO market … I
don’t think the desired profile of what the IPO investor wants
is clear,” he said.

But Turner, whose Capital Markets Group manages about $20
billion in debt and equity financing, added that the IPO market
is far below where it has been historically. He said that over
the past 20 years in the United States, there have been an
average of 200 deals a year raising about $30 billion in
capital, implying a significant upside for the market.

“The market is stumbling a bit, trying to find its footing.
It doesn’t need a rising equity market, it just needs a stable
one,” said Renaissance analyst Paul Bard. “There is a large
supply of private companies … waiting in the wings. It’s just
a question of the pace with which they will come.”

ON DECK

Ironwood Pharmaceuticals Inc (IRWD.O: ), hoping to raise
about $250 million at the midpoint, is the biggest deal on the
calendar for the coming week. The drug company could do well if
it gets regulatory approval for a drug in clinical development,
but the IPO may not be strong enough to tempt investors in the
current environment, said IPO Boutique Senior Managing Partner
Scott Sweet.

Ironwood, which hopes to raise $250 million, has
partnerships with Forest Laboratories Inc (FRX.N: ) and Almirall
SA (ALM.MC: ), but has reported losses each year since it was
founded in 1998 and has not yet brought a drug to market.

Also expected this week are adult-themed social networking
website operator FriendFinder Networks Inc (FFN.N: ), hoping to
raise about $220 million; workers compensation insurance and
claims services company Patriot Risk Management Inc (PRMI.O: )
which hopes to raise about $187 million; boutique investment
bank Imperial Capital Group Inc (ICG.N: ), which hopes to raise
about $106.7 million; and West-Hollywood-based movie finance
and production company Film Department Holdings Inc (TFD.O: ),
which was looking to raise about $85 million.

Stock Investing

(Reporting by Clare Baldwin in New York; Editing by Richard
Chang)

RPT-IPO VIEW-U.S. bankers, investors see strong 2010