IPOs Poised to Set Post-Tech Bubble High in 2014

NEW YORK (The Deal) -- The U.S. market for initial public offerings may be on pace for its best year since 2000, market watchers say.

The IPO market has produced 188 IPOs worth $40 billion so far this year, a 44% increase in deals compared with 2013, according to data from Renaissance Capital. A backlog of up to 100 more IPOs could raise another $40 billion, the research firm said. The number of companies filing for IPOs has already surpassed last year's total with 261 such filings, compared to 256 last year.

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"Only 34 more offerings are needed for 2014 to surpass 2013 as the busiest year for IPOs since the tech bubble, a milestone we expect to reach by the end of October," the research firm said in its "Fall 2014 U.S. IPO Preview" published Sept. 3.

To be sure, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding's IPO is expected to raise about $20 billion, or half the $40 billion forecast, and may help revive interest in tech IPOs.

"Alibaba is the elephant in the pipeline with an estimated deal size of $20 billion, or 40% of projected total pipeline proceeds," Renaissance Capital said.

Chinese online retailers JD.com  (JD) and Jumei International Holding  (JMEI) have gained 72% and 44% respectively since their IPOs, Renaissance Capital noted, "indicating that investor interest in e-commerce is already hot."

In addition to Alibaba, two other large e-commerce companies Cnova NV, which is being spun off by French retailer Groupe Casino, and Wayfair Inc. are planning IPOs in the fourth quarter. Cnova's may raise as much as $1 billion and Wayfair's as much as $350 million.

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