Latham & Watkins represented issuers in 93 initial public offerings last year, valued at more than $ 42 billion, overtaking rivals in the global race to help companies issue shares on the public markets.
Latham’s main year represented a more than three-fold increase in the value of issuer-side transactions the company advised in 2020, as it represented 36 issuers raising more than $ 12 billion, according to compiled data. by Bloomberg. The company represented electric vehicle maker Rivian Automotive Inc., which raised nearly $ 12 billion, the largest IPO last year.
The ability to provide post-IPO services has helped Latham get corporate business, said Ian Schuman, the company’s global president of capital markets. âIssuers have really looked to companies that can not only execute the IPO but also be everything they will need as a high growth public company,â he said.
It was a banner year for IPOs, with nearly $ 550 billion raised, up from $ 410 billion in 2020, according to Bloomberg data. Low interest rates, investor exuberance, and a sustained bull market led to an early boom in Special Purpose Acquisition Company, or SPAC, transactions, followed by a steady stream of traditional IPOs.
Historically strong mergers and acquisitions have matched the record year for IPOs, resulting in what could be Big Law’s best financial performance in more than a decade. The flow of public registrations continues in early 2022.
âThe pipeline is strong and many companies are preparing for a possible bid later in 2022 and early 2023,â said Schuman. âEquity capital markets in the US are very mature, and despite the recent correction anticipating higher rates, valuations are still generally strong. “
Typically, business advice is the most lucrative aspect of IPO activity for law firms, which can generate over $ 5 million in fees for company-side work, according to regulatory documents.
Last year Davis Polk & Wardwell continued their run to the top of the underwriting market, working on 151 IPOs that raised more than $ 62 billion, according to data compiled by The Bloomberg Show.
The company nearly doubled its workload compared to 2020, when it worked on 80 deals that raised $ 34 billion and also conducted IPOs of underwriter shares. That year, the company advised nearly twice as much IPO deal value as its next closest competitor.
In 2021, Latham also advised 107 underwriter-side IPOs that raised more than $ 45 billion, ranking second behind Davis Polk, according to Bloomberg data.
Davis Polk also advised 64 issuers who raised more than $ 12.5 billion in 2021, according to Bloomberg data.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom advised underwriters on the Rivian transaction, highlighting a strong performance by the company on the underwriters and issuers side of the IPO table.
Skadden has advised 67 issuers that raised nearly $ 20 billion last year and advised underwriters on 91 deals raising more than $ 43 billion.
Skadden in 2020 advised 53 issuers who raised more than $ 17 billion, which was the largest behind Maples & Calder, a firm that specialized as local Cayman Islands legal counsel for PSPC’s IPOs.
Michael Zeidel, who heads the Americas capital markets group for Skadden, said it was difficult to predict another year as busy as 2021, but that he expects “robust activity”.
âIf you talk to most of the capital markets attorneys, they’ll tell you they haven’t seen anything like this in the past 20 months,â Zeidel said.