U.S. IPO Hopefuls Are Hunting for Signs of Elusive Market Window

Some of the big-name startups expected to go public early this year have slowed their rush to market as stocks continue to whipsaw.

Companies including Reddit Inc. and Cohesity Inc. each discussed listing shares as soon as the first quarter of 2022, people familiar with the matter have said. Though both have filed paperwork for an initial public offering, neither has taken the next steps toward making their market debuts. With less than a week left of March, any attempt to go public remains some ways off, for them and dozens of others that have been eyeing U.S. listings.

While Reddit hasn’t postponed its plans -- IPO timetables are rarely set in stone until a company starts marketing its shares -- the social media platform is now unlikely to go public before May at the earliest, people familiar with the matter said. Even then, the decision will depend on whether equity markets, already rattled by inflation, have stabilized after weeks of volatile trading that intensified as Russia invaded Ukraine last month.

Representatives for Reddit and for Softbank Group Corp.-backed Cohesity, which filed confidentially for an IPO in December, declined to comment.

What’s clear is that market-ready companies, and the bankers who advise them, are raring to go as soon as the right moment comes. One equity market participant’s firm told clients in a note last week that signs of an opening were emerging and they should stay tuned, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.

Among the companies lining up to make their debut when conditions improve: online sneaker exchange StockX, Intel Corp. spinoff Mobileye and two businesses owned by Bausch Health Cos. -- a contact-lens maker and a medical-aesthetics unit. Yogurt manufacturer Chobani Inc., meanwhile, which filed in November for its IPO, isn’t likely to go public until late this year or into 2023, Bloomberg News has reported.