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Aratana Will Try Again: 6 IPOs on Deck

Several biotechs on the slate of companies scheduled to go public


Last week was a bit of a disappointment in the IPO world, likely in part thanks to the market’s recent volatility. True, network equipment operator Gigamon (GIMO) saw its shares rise by 50% following its offering, but the $1 billion offering of beauty product giant Coty (COTY) was a dud, and Aratana Therapeutics moved its deal back to this week.

This week, Aratana joins five other planned IPOs, with GoGo the most likely to grab investors’ attention. Here’s a quick look at each deal:

Aratana Therapeutics

Aratana Therapeutics (PETX) is a development-stage biopharma company that focuses on pet treatments. Its strategy is in-licensing proprietary compounds that have worked for human-based drugs, such as for dealing with pain and cancers.

PETX has a top management team, including a chief scientific officer who has been involved in the development of 20 animal health products, and a chief commercial officer who has been responsible for the launch of 22 products in the industry, such as Rimadyl.

Aratana plans to issue 4.3 million shares on the Nasdaq at a range of $11 to $13. Lead underwriters include Stifel Nicolaus and Lazard Capital Markets (LAZ).

Bluebird Bio

Bluebird Bio (BLUE) is a clinical-stage biotech company that is focused on using gene therapy to treat severe genetic and orphan diseases. The process involves attacking the cause of the disease — which is a dysfunctional gene — not the symptoms.

Its most advanced product candidate is a Phase 2 drug called Lenti-D, which deals with a neurological disorder that affects young boys. Bluebird also is working on LentiGlobin, which targets sickle-cell disease.

Bluebird also has entered a collaboration agreement with Celgene (CELG); the pair currently are working on gene therapies in oncology.

Bluebird plans to issue 5 million shares on the Nasdaq at a range of $14 to $16. Lead underwriters include JPMorgan Chase (JPM) and BofA Merrill Lynch (BAC).


GoGo (GOGO) is the leading provider of in-flight Internet connectivity, which includes services like e-commerce and movies. Gogo counts customers like Delta Air Lines (DAL), American Airlines (AAMRQ), US Airways (LCC), Alaska Airlines (ALK), NetJets and Gulfstream.

Last year, revenues improved 46% year over year to $233.5 million, but its growth has required lots of investment, which has resulted in heavy losses. Last year, GoGo fell $32.7 million in the red after making $23.6 million in the prior year.

Gogo plans to issue 11 million shares on the Nasdaq at a range of $15 to $17. Lead underwriters include Morgan Stanley (MS), JPMorgan and UBS Investment Bank (UBS).

PTC Therapeutics

PTC Therapeutics (PTCT) is a biotech company that develops treatments based on small-molecule drugs. Its lead candidate is ataluren, a Phase 3 drug designed to treat nonsense mutations in DNA.

To fund its efforts, PTCT has collaboration agreements with F. Hoffman-La Roche and the Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation. Last year, the company booked about $29 million in grant revenues.

PTCT plans to issue 6.9 million shares on the Nasdaq at a range of $13 to $16. Lead underwriters include JPMorgan and Credit Suisse (CS).

Regado Biosciences

Regado Biosciences (RGDO) develops controllable antithrombotic drug systems for acute and sub-acute cardiovascular indications. Its lead candidate, Factor IXa, is designed for patients with a variety of acute coronary syndromes. It reportedly can get results within five minutes of injection and also greatly reduces the chances of major bleeding events. Right now, the drug is going to Phase 3 trials.

Regado plans to issue 5 million shares on the Nasdaq at a range of $14 to $16. Lead underwriters include Cowen & Company and BMO Capital Markets.

Votorantim Cimentos

Votorantim Cimentos (VEBM) is a vertically integrated cement producer that’s ranked fourth in the world and No. 1 in Brazil. VEBM has 33 cement plants, 23 grinding mills, 331 ready-mix plants and 84 aggregates facilities. It also has 61 limestone quarries, which have a total expected life in excess of 60 years, assuming they operate at maximum capacity.

In 2012, revenues increased by 9% to $9.5 billion and earnings spiked by 92% to $1.6 billion. However, in light of the slowing economy in Brazil, VEBM might face some headwinds with its IPO.

Votorantim plans to issue 200 million shares on the New York Stock Exchange at $15.59 to $18.51. Lead underwriters include Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan, Itau BBA (ITUB), Credit Suisse and BTG Pactual.

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook. He is also the author of High-Profit IPO StrategiesAll About Commodities and All About Short Selling. Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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