Wilson Sonsini retains top spot with only six deals; Cooley Godward only other West Coast firm to make top 10 table
Initial Public Offering (IPO) activity in the US has all but collapsed from the heights of 2000. Tables from IPO.com reveal that in terms of the number of IPOs acted on, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati has retained its top spot from last year, but its total of six IPOs is a dramatic decrease from the 42 the firm handled in 2000, reflecting the uncertainty that has pervaded equity capital markets during the past year. It is worth noting that despite topping the table in terms of numbers, the firm raised a total of just $504.5m (£351.6m) for its listings. This figure reflects the firm's dominance among smaller issuers and its emphasis on Nasdaq placings. Second-placed Simpson Thacher & Bartlett brought just one deal less to the market, but raised around $3.5bn (£2.4bn) from its five listings. In 2001 it acted for Accenture in one of the 25 largest IPOs in history. Sullivan & Cromwell also acted on a couple of last year's key IPOs. Contributing to a total amount raised of $5.9bn (£4.1bn) for three deals was the Prudential Financial listing, which generated $3bn (£2.1bn). This makes it the third biggest IPO, behind Kraft Foods and Lucent Technologies' spin-off Agere Systems. Kraft and Agere almost single-handedly carried their law firms to the top of the listings for amount raised. Hunton & Williams advised Kraft on its $8.7bn (£6.1bn) IPO, while Cravath Swaine & Moore was instructed by Agere to handle a New York Stock Exchange listing that raised $3.6bn (£2.5bn). Both firms acted on just two IPOs in 2001, but came first and third respectively in the table ranked by amount raised. The situation looks bleaker for other West Coast firms, which dominated IPO activity the previous year. Based on the number of IPOs completed, Wilson Sonsini was joined in the top 10 by just one other Palo Alto firm, Cooley Godward. It is a sign of how far the technology-focused firms have fallen behind more traditional rivals during the past year. New York firms had been edged out of the IPO bumper harvest, but made a strong comeback in 2001.
Top 20 IPO players of 2001 (ranked by number of deals)