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Q1 League Table: PIPEs Up Despite Volatility

By Paul Springer | Published on April 30, 2020

Capital raised was up about 50% versus the first quarter of last year.

The PIPEs market faces a troubling volatility scenario thanks to conditions including the current healthcare crisis and a huge drop in oil prices, but the first quarter represents a major increase in capital raised compared to the first quarter of last year — PIPEs capital raises increased from about $20 billion to $30 billion over the comparable periods.

Futures also indicate an up market on Tuesday, but the longer prospect is still uncertain.

This occurred at a point where volatility has reached extreme highs, which are not good for PIPEs deals or negotiations in general. The CBOE’s volatility index, the VIX, took off from a Feb. 14 $25.03 close to levels over $80 in mid-March. The Monday, April 6, close was $46.80, a figure definitely high enough to concern dealmakers.

The fall in oil prices won’t help the energy market, which usually tends to be the largest raiser of capital in the PIPE market. Energy offerings in the recent quarter were few.

However, the VIX number reflects S&P 500 companies and is only a general proxy for the PIPEs market’s early-stage companies and biotechs.

PIPEs activity was intense in the first quarter, from both large and small companies.

Based on preliminary numbers, PIPEs in the first quarter raised $30.31 billion, compared to $20.2 billion in the first quarter last year.

Most of the offerings raised less than $50 million, and many were at the $1 million level.

There were also more substantial PIPEs.

BeiGene Ltd. (BGEN) raised $2.79 billion in a common stock offering. Yandex NV (VNDX) raised $1.25 billion in a convertible debt offering.

Vertiv Holdings Co. (VRT) raised $1.24 billion in a common stock PIPE.

These figures are from PrivateRaise, The Deal’s private placement data tracking service.

PrivateRaise also tracks Rule 144A offerings, which raised $8.13 billion in the quarter, including a $1.15 billion offering from MongoDB Inc. (MDB), $1 billion from Square Inc. (SQ), and $1 billion from RingCentral Inc. (RNG).

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