A unit of Johnson & Johnson is headed for the biggest initial public offering in more than a year after its shares were priced near the top of the expected range Wednesday evening.
Johnson & Johnson JNJ,
Johnson & Johnson expects to sell more than 151 million shares at that price, after stating a potential pricing range of $20 to $23. At the $22 price, Johnson & Johnson would raise more than $3.3 billion at a valuation topping $41 billion, and those numbers could rise — the underwriting banks have access to an additional 22.7 million shares for overallotments.
That means the Kenvue IPO will raise more than every other IPO that has made it to market thus far in 2023 collectively, and more than any individual IPO since late 2021. According to Renaissance Capital data, just 40 IPOs have priced this year, and they raised about $2.4 billion in total.
A deep freeze in the IPO market began last year, after a spate of SPACs — special-purpose acquisition companies, also known as blank-check companies — led to record activity in 2021. Just 71 IPOs or direct listings with an initial valuation of $50 million or more made it to market in 2022, according to Renaissance Capital, after 397 such deals in 2021.
For more: The IPO market froze in 2022. Here’s what’s needed for it to thaw in 2023
A successful IPO for Kenvue could lead to other established companies going forward with public offerings. Arm Ltd., a British chip maker owned by Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp. 9434,
J&J will continue to own about 90% of Kenvue and plans to distribute the remaining shares to its own shareholders in a deal that may come in the second half of the year. Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and BofA Securities are lead underwriters in a team of 19 banks working on the deal.
MarketWatch staff writer Ciara Linnane contributed to this article.