Q-2 & 1st Half 2019 SPAC IPO Underwriting League Tables

Underwriting-League-Tables

Q-2 & 1st Half 2019 SPAC IPO Underwriting League Tables

Below are the recently released Q-2 & 1st Half 2019 SPAC IPO Underwriting League Tables

Methodology:
In addition to the traditional methodology used whereby any bookrunner or lead manager gets full credit for IPO size to calculate deal volume, there are two additional rankings – volume by number of units sold and volume sold % market share (highlighted in green). For example, if SPAC-XYZ raised $500 million at IPO, and underwriter A sold $400 million of the same deal and underwriter B sold only $100 million, that’s how they will be credited.  This methodology gives a more accurate window into the actual deal volume.


Q-2 2019

Ranked by Volume

(All data is sort-able using the arrow keys (Δ/∇) located in the header cells)

RankUnderwriterVolume
($mm)
Volume
% Mkt Share
Volume
Sold
($mm)
Volume
Sold
% Mkt Share
Deal
Count
Average
Deal Size
1Cantor987.522.4%861.028.7%3329.2
2Citigroup850.019.3%825.027.5%2425.0
3Deutsche Bank400.09.1%169.85.7%1400.0
4Goldman Sachs400.09.1%169.85.7%1400.0
5Jefferies316.37.2%275.09.2%1316.3
6Credit Suisse287.56.5%157.65.3%1287.5
7BofA287.56.5%84.92.8%1287.5
8Earlybird172.53.9%72.02.4%1172.5
9Northland172.53.9%74.12.5%1172.5
10B. Riley FBR143.83.3%125.04.2%1143.8
11Chardan115.02.6%70.02.3%1115.0
12UBS115.02.6%30.01.0%1115.0
13I-bankers115.02.6%45.01.5%1115.0
14Maxim46.01.0%40.01.3%146.0

Source: SPACInsider, Ranked by volume

Cantor Fitzgerald had a monster second quarter leading in every single category (total volume, volume sold, and deal count) with Citigroup following right on their heels to take the #2 spot. Additionally, on all three of Cantor’s Q-2 deals, they were sole book-runner. However, Cantor’s average deal size was $329.2 million, which put them in the #4 position behind the “Big Three” – Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs, based on average deal size.

Speaking of Citigroup, they squeaked in two high profile deals (Churchill II – $600 million, and South Mountain – $250 million) at the end of June to make the tables this quarter after having been absent in Q-1.  Nonetheless, when Citi makes an appearance, you can bet it’s with a very large, tier-1 team. They can really throw their weight around.

However, what’s interesting about the second quarter league tables is the trend of having a single lead underwriter.  Very rarely did we see underwriters sharing the covers. To wit, there were 13 IPOs in Q-2, but fully nine of them had solo underwriters.  And of those nine, only two of them had co-managers (Churchill II and Proficient Alpha).  This is just another indicator of how competitive the SPAC underwriting landscape has become.  Nobody wants to share.

Also notable is the fact that no matter which category you sort (total volume, volume sold, or average deal size), the same top 5 names are always included in that group. In the past, sometimes an underwriter would rank in the top three for total volume, but rank much lower (such as #7) based on total volume sold.  This is, again, because we’re seeing more SPACs with only one lead underwriter, so they’re not sharing the economics.  This quarter’s top 5 are: Cantor, Citi, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Jefferies. These are your varsity players…and the ones to try and beat.

However, where things get really interesting are the first half 2019 tables….read below.


First Half (1-H) 2019

Ranked by Volume

(All data is sort-able using the arrow keys located in the header cells)

RankUnderwriterVolume
($mm)
Volume
% Mkt Share
Volume
Sold
($mm)
Volume
Sold
% Mkt Share
Deal
Count
Average
Deal Size
1Cantor1,668.315.1%1246.321.0%6278.1
2Deutsche Bank1,615.614.6%882.514.9%5323.1
3Goldman Sachs1,338.612.1%514.88.7%4334.6
4Credit Suisse937.58.5%422.37.1%3312.5
5Citigroup850.07.7%825.013.9%2425.0
6BTIG680.86.1%193.63.3%3226.9
7BofA537.54.9%194.03.3%2268.8
8Stifel530.24.8%111.91.9%2265.1
9Earlybird448.54.1%247.04.2%2224.3
10Chardan402.53.6%198.13.3%4100.6
11UBS348.03.1%63.81.1%2174.0
12Jefferies316.32.9%275.04.6%1316.3
13Nomura300.22.7%159.52.7%1300.2
14Cowen280.52.5%190.03.2%2140.3
15Barclays233.02.1%101.31.7%1233.0
16Northland172.51.6%74.11.2%1172.5
17B. Riley FBR143.81.3%125.02.1%1143.8
18I-bankers115.01.0%45.00.8%1115.0
19Craig-Hallum108.01.0%30.00.5%1108.0
20Maxim46.00.4%40.00.7%146.0

Source: SPACInsider, Ranked by volume

Looking at the First Half (1-H) rankings for 2019, we see Cantor also topping the list based on total deal volume with $1.668 billion in SPAC IPOs. However, it was extremely close.  Deutsche Bank was only a hair’s breadth behind them with $1.616 billion. Helping Cantor take that lead was the fact that they priced six SPACs, whereas Deutsche Bank priced five, giving Cantor the edge.  Furthermore, if we sort based on volume sold, Cantor still leads the league having sold approximately $1.25 billion.  However, that does not include the over-allotments since that is not listed in the underwriting section of the final prospectus.  As a result, that volume sold figure is obviously even larger if we were able to take that into account. (Note: even though many deals had sole bookrunners, there were other SPACs with shared covers. In order to be consistent across the board, over-allotments were not included.)

Additionally, we see Credit Suisse in the rankings for the first half at #4 based on total volume.  However, if you notice, they were not included in the Q-2 rankings.  Surprisingly, Credit Suisse did not price any IPOs in the second quarter, although they did just file Oaktree Acquisition Corp for Q-3.  Nonethless, even without any Q-2 SPACs, Credit Suisse still managed to make the top 5 for the first half. Credit Suisse has traditionally been a consistent leader in SPAC underwriting, so it’s always best to keep an eye on them.

Going further down the list, we start to see a few interesting rankings.  For example, Northland, which was a lead underwriter on the $172.5 million Gig2, managed to sell $74.1 million worth (without including what they sold in the over-allotment).  For reference, Northland was not a lead underwriter on any deals in 2018 and Gig2 was their first deal for 2019 as a co-lead, and yet still managed to sell an impressive $74.1 million.

Additionally, BTIG, which only managed to enter the SPAC space as of late last year, managed to climb to the #6 position for the first half of 2019, based on total volume.  Same goes for Stifel, which was not on any SPAC covers in 2018, but is now currently ranked #8.  Impressive effort by both underwriters.

However, there’s something else to keep in mind…Morgan Stanley.  Morgan Stanley has not traditionally been a significant presence in the SPAC underwriting league tables, but that should change starting in the third and fourth quarters of this year.  That’s because Morgan Stanley recently hired Goldman’s Head SPAC banker away (Bennett Schachter), so you can bet when he’s done with Garden Leave, Morgan Stanley will make their presence known. That could significantly shake up the rankings going forward. Additionally, we’re only halfway through the year, but as we saw in 2018, things can change pretty quickly.  Keep your eye on BofA and UBS as well. They could easily surge in the next quarter to make a run for the top.

The rest of 2019 is already shaping up to be a blockbuster with seven IPOs already on file, plus the anticipated Switchback Energy.  It will be interesting to see what shakes out in the third quarter, given how competitive it has become.  To quote the late Aristotle Onasis, “I have no friends and no enemies.  Just competitors.”  Same goes for SPACs.

You can find all the League Tables by clicking here.

 

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