(Bloomberg) -- Miriam Adelson’s sale of roughly $2 billion in Las Vegas Sands Corp. shares to acquire a stake in the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks has the market for secondary offerings on pace for the busiest month in two years.
The family of the late casino mogul Sheldon Adelson offloaded more than 46 million shares of the company in a move to buy a stake in the Mavericks from 65-year-old tech billionaire Mark Cuban. The share sale bolsters the windfall for Corporate America and its biggest investors to $15.38 billion this month, just shy of the $15.39 billion raised in May, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. With one day to go, November is almost certain to become the busiest month for the offerings since November 2021.
The flurry of sales comes as a wide range of investors, from family moguls like the Adelsons to conglomerates including General Electric Co. take advantage of a rising stock market and earnings reports in the rear-view mirror.
“With a follow-on, you have more flexibility to be opportunistic. A well-known, seasoned issuer or an issuer that has an effective shelf registration statement can get these deals together pretty quick,” said Rachel Phillips, a partner at Ropes & Gray.
The jump in activity in November comes with broader equity benchmarks headed for their best monthly performances since July 2022. The S&P 500 is up nearly 9% this month as investors pile in, even with ultra-safe 10-year US Treasuries offering yields above 4%.
Big Deals Month
The Las Vegas Sands offering brings the tally of deals raising over $1 billion this month to five, the most in any month this year, according to Bloomberg calculations. Several large deals were priced at relatively small discounts, echoing a trend in Europe, and reflecting a growing appetite for share sales.
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General Electric priced this month’s sale of $2 billion worth of shares in AerCap Holdings NV at a 3.6% discount to the company’s last traded share price, while Sempra’s $1.2 billion offering was sold at a mere 2% discount, Bloomberg calculations show. The Las Vegas Sands share sale ended up at a 7.7% discount, which, though wider, is still within the typical 5% to 8% range for such offerings.
The after-market performance of companies with secondary offerings has held up, with shares rising an average of 5.5% above their offer price after the deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. By contrast, share prices of companies which had follow-on offerings in May are down an average 7.8%.
All told, roughly $93 billion has been raised via secondary sales so far this year, a jump after last year’s moribund performance during the same period, but still a shadow of the go-go days in 2021 when $219 billion was raised through Nov. 29, the data show.
The rush of follow-on offerings comes as still-private companies get their filings in order for a potential reopening of a still-shut window for initial public offerings.
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“Despite the IPO market not being open, the equity markets have allowed for a number of secondary offerings,” said Morgan Hayes, a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton. The returns from share sales could drive sponsors of still-private companies to look to join the next wave of IPOs at the start of next year, he said.
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