Tag Archives: IPO

FibroBiologics goes public in direct listing

FibroBiologics, a biotechnology company based in The Medical Center, has now completed its direct listing of its stock. It’s the second Houston-area company to go public in the past week,  after Autonomix Medical.

The company chose to go public via a direct listing, rather than an Initial Public Offering. In a traditional IPO, a company goes through a lot of due diligence from the investment bank underwriting the IPO.  The bank agrees to support the IPO price with its own capital, if needed. The price of that trust is a time-consuming process and large fees for the underwriters.

In a direct listing, the company does not issue any new shares and doesn’t use an underwriter. It’s cheaper and quicker but the stock can be more volatile because investors have to do their own due diligence. It’s highly unusual for a biotech company to opt to go public via this route.

FibroBiologics was formed in 2021 and is developing treatment therapies that use fibroblasts. Fibroblasts and stem cells are the only two cell types in the human body that can regenerate tissue and organs.

The company believes that fibroblasts are favorable to stem cells in cell therapy treatments as they do not provoke an immune response and can be non-invasively harvested from a variety of skin donors. However, no fibroblast therapy products have yet been approved.

The company is concentrating on treatments for degenerative disc disease, Multiple Sclerosis and wound healing.


Founder and CEO Pete O’Heeron is a Houston-based biopharma inventor with over 300 patents to his name. He also owned a country music record label for 15 years before closing it in 2019 to concentrate on medicine.

Mark Andersen has been the CFO since June 2022. He moved to Houston from Indianapolis where he was the CFO of the Indiana Biosciences Research Institute.

Opening Trading

Ahead of its direct listing, the company set the reference price at $8. The shares actually opened at $30 in mid-afternoon, before closing at $29.10. The company received no cash from the direct listing. [Update 02-02-24 – After three days of trading, the shares are now $15].

As of September 2023, the company had $10.8 million cash on hand, which should see it through September 2024.

S-1 filing – FibroBiologics



Autonomix Medical completes $11 million IPO

Autonomix Medical, based in The Woodlands, has completed its $11.2 million Initial Public Offering. The shares will begin trading on NASDAQ under the ticker symbol ‘AMIX’.

The company is developing medical devices to treat diseases involving the nervous system. Its first product is a catheter-based microchip sensor that has the ability to detect and differentiate neural signals with far greater sensitivity than current technologies. It will be used to treat pancreatic cancer paid and pancreatitis pain. The company intends to use the technology on other diseases. Human trials have not yet started.

The company was founded in 2014 in Excelsior, Minnesota by Dr. Robert Schwartz and Landy Toth. They now serve as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Technology Officer respectively.

The rest of the management team are alumni of Soliton, a company that was developing a device that used acoustic shockwaves initially intended to remove tattoos. The company, based in the Galleria, went public in 2019 and was acquired by AbbVie for $550 million in 2021. The device is to marketed to reduce cellulite.

  • Walter Smith (former CEO at Soliton) is the Executive Chairman
  • Lori Bisson (the former CFO) is the CEO
  • Trent Smith (the former Corporate Controller) is the CFO

The company doesn’t have any revenues yet and estimates that it will need to raise of a total of $50 million to bring the product to initial commercial launch.

You can see the complete list of Houston-area public companies here.




Steel framing manufacturer raises $10 million in IPO

Inno Holdings, based in Brookshire, has completed its Initial Public Offering (IPO). The company raised $10 million by offering 2.5 million shares at $4, the low end of the range.

Inno primarily produces cold-formed steel framing products. The company argues that using steel instead of wood allows buildings to be constructed in a modular or off-site manner. Inno generates revenue from the sale of metal studs, tracks and wall panels as well as engineering services and on-site structure framing work.

CEO DK Liu formed Inno in 2019. His family has been involved in industrial machinery production for three generations. Since moving to the US in 2012 he has been involved in real estate development.

CFO Solomon Li was appointed in July 2023 and is based in the company’s office in Diamond Bar, California. Prior to that, he worked for  JP Morgan Chase. The previous CFO was Wes Twigg, based in Oregon. He joined in January 2023 but resigned in July.

For the nine months ended June 30, revenues were only $502k, down from $3.5 million in the corresponding period in 2022. The big revenue drop was due to a decline in construction activity and the size of contracts. However, the company estimates it has $15 million to $20 million in backlog as of June 30, 2023.

If the lack of revenue to June 2023 wasn’t bad enough, the company incurred bad debt expenses of $1.3 million. The collection issues were with multiple customers and for a variety of reasons. Losses before taxes were $3 million in the nine months to June 2023, compared to a loss of $556k in the prior corresponding period.

The stock of Inno will trade under the ticker INHD.

S-1 filing – Inno Holdings



Kodiak Gas completes IPO below expected price range

Kodiak Gas Services, based in Montgomery, TX, has completed its $256 million Initial Public Offering (IPO). Its stock is now listed on the NYSE under the symbol ‘KGS’. It offered 16 million shares at $16 per share, well below the proposed range of $19-$22.

The company operates gas compression services, mostly in the Permian and Eagle Ford basins in Texas. In 2022 it had revenues of $708 million, adjusted EBITDA of $399 million and net income of $106 million. The business is capital-intensive business and spent $48 million on maintenance capex and $211 million on growth capex last year.

Kodiak was founded in 2011 and backed by the Stephens Group, an Arkansas-based PE firm until 2019 when EQT Partners, a Swedish-based investment firm, acquired a majority stake in the business.


David Marrs and Mickey McKee co-founded Kodiak in 2011. Mr. Marrs served as the CEO until shortly after the investment by EQT. Mr. McKee has been the CEO since then.

John Griggs has been the CFO at Kodiak since January 2023.  Previously, he held various CFO roles at PE-backed companies.  He also worked at CSL Capital Management, a Houston-based PE firm, for three years. Ewan Hamilton, who was the CFO for nearly seven years prior to the appointment of Mr. Griggs, remains at the company as Chief Accounting Officer.

High Debt

It was intended that the monies raised in the IPO would be used to repay $314 million of a term loan that carries interest of almost 12%. Given that the IPO price was well below the proposed price, the amount of debt repayment will be lower

Prior to the IPO, the company had borrowings of $2.75 billion. In addition to the repayment,  $700 million (the remaining balance of the term loan) was to be transferred to Kodiak’s parent, leaving $1.75 billion of debt on the books post-IPO. The $700 million was based on the proposed IPO range and may change given the lower IPO price.

In case you feel sorry for the parent having to take back $700 million of debt, don’t. In 2022, the  company paid a $838 million distribution to its parent that was mostly funded by increasing the balance on the term loan.

SEC filing – S-1 Kodiak


Houston SPAC to take Australian solar power company public

Nabors Energy Transition Corp (‘NETC’) , a Houston SPAC, is to take Vast, an Australian company, public. After the acquisition is completed in Q2 or Q3, VAST will be listed on the NYSE, but will continue to have its corporate offices in Sydney.

Concentrated Solar Power Plant

NETC completed its $276 million IPO in November 2021. The sponsor of the SPAC is a company co-owned by Nabors Industries, a global leader in land-based drilling rigs and Tony Petrello, the current Chairman and CEO of Nabors.

Vast has developed a next generation of concentrated solar thermal power system. The system uses mirrors to concentrates the sun’s rays. That heat is then transferred and stored in molten sodium, which is then used to drive a steam turbine and create electricity.

Vast believes its system has two main advantages over solar and wind power. Firstly the system can provide efficient long-duration storage (8-16 hours). Secondly, it can generate process heat equivalent to burning fossil fuels, meaning it can be used in industrial manufacturing.

Vast has built a 1.1 MW demonstration plant in Australia that was operational from 2018 to 2020. It is currently developing a 30 MW plant that is expected to become operational in 2025 and a 20 ton per day solar methanol facility. These projects have received funding of up to AUD 215 million ($152 million) from the Australian and German governments

The transaction values Vast at $250 million, though the business will also have $336 million in cash on the balance sheet at close. The SPAC will contribute $286 million, while Vast’s owners will rollover their equity ($209 million). Nabors will also invest $15 million as will AgCentral, the main shareholder of VAST.

VAST Investor Presentation

Houston insurance company completes $134 million IPO

Skyward Specialty Insurance Group has completed its upsized Initial Public Offering, raising $134 million at a $588 million market capitalization. Its shares ended the week at $19.10 after opening at $15 (ticker SKWD).

The company, which has its head office in the Memorial City area, specializes in commercial property and casualty insurance. The company tries to target niche markets not well served by the mainstream carriers. For example, its Industry Solutions unit focuses on Construction, Energy and Specialty Trucking.

For the nine months ended September 2022, the company had net written premiums of $496 million. Its combined ratio (losses plus expenses) was 97.8% for 2021.

The company was formed in 2007 by Stephen Way. Mr. Wray formed the company shortly after he left HCC Insurance Holdings (which he also founded), a publicly-traded company. Like many companies at the time, HCC was caught using incorrect measurement dates for pricing stock options.  HCC was acquired by Tokio Marine in 2015.

Canadian firm Westaim took a 44% stake in the company in 2014 and in 2020 replaced Mr. Wray with Andrew Robinson as CEO. Shortly afterwards, the company changed its name from Houston International Insurance Group to Skyward Specialty Insurance Group. Mr. Wray is no longer on the board.

CFO Mark Haushill joined the company in 2015. He has been the CFO at two other publicly-traded insurance companies

SEC filing – Propectus

Coya Therapeutics completes $15 million IPO

Coya Therapeutics, a biotechnology company with its head office in the Galleria area, has completed its $15 million initial public offering (IPO). It will have a fully diluted market capitalization of $50 million.

The company is developing proprietary new therapies to enhance the function of regulatory T cells (‘Tregs’).  Tregs are a subpopulation of T cells (a type of white blood cell) that modulate the immune system. Tregs were first discovered in 1995. Coya is initially focused on therapies for neurodegenerative, autoimmune and metabolic diseases where Treg dysfunction has been identified as an important pathophysiological component of the disease.

The company’s leading prospect is for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS (sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease). Clinical trials are expected in the first half of 2024.

Coya was formed in November 2020 by Dr. Howard Berman. Prior to this, Dr. Berman worked at AbbVie Inc, Eli Lily and Novartis. He began his career at MD Anderson in the technology transfer division where he was responsible for assessing the market, patent and scientific merits of numerous oncology-based technologies.

The CFO/COO of the company is David Snyder, based in Austin. He joined in March 2022. COYA is the fourth biotechnology business he has brought to market as CFO.

The company has an exclusive license and sponsored research agreement with The Methodist Hospital.

The stock is listed on Nasdaq under the symbol COYA.

Coya is the 7th Houston-area company to complete an IPO in 2022. You can see the complete list of Houston-area public companies here.

Coya Therapeutics – S-1 filing

Corebridge $1.7 billion IPO largest in US this year

Corebridge Financial, a carve-out of AIG’s retirement services and life insurance business, has announced the pricing of its Initial Public Offering (IPO). 80 million shares will be offered at $21 per share, the bottom end of the range.  The $1.7 billion raised is the largest IPO this year in the US.

Corebridge manages $358 billion in client assets as of June 30, 2022. It is a leading provider of annuities for individual retirement plans (1.2 million policies) and retirement plans for education, healthcare and government sectors (1.9 million customers).

The shares being sold are about 12% of the total float. AIG will own 78% of the shares while Blackrock will own 10%. All the proceeds will go to AIG.

Blackrock acquired its shares in 2021 for $2.2 billion. That was part of a deal where AIG agreed to transfer the management of $50 billion of Corebridge’s client assets to Blackrock. That figure will rise to $93 billion by 2027.

Houston head office

Corebridge has its head office on Allen Parkway in Houston. That connection is because the life insurance business was primarily built on AIG acquiring American General Corporation (AGC) in 2001 for $23 billion. AGC was founded in 1926 by Gus Wortham, who was one of the Houston’s major civic leaders.


Kevin Hogan, the CEO of Corebridge, has been in that position since 2014. According to LinkedIn, he is based in New York as is Elias Habayeb, the CFO. He has been in that role for almost a year. Both Mr. Hogan and Mr. Habayeb are long-time AIG employees, though, interestingly both left and then rejoined AIG.

The carve-out from AIG is expected to cost between $350 million and $450 million as the company rebrands and replaces systems and infrastructure provided by AIG.

Corebridge will list on the NYSE with the ticker ‘CRBG’



LNG services company completes IPO

Excelerate Energy has completed its initial public offering by raising $384 million. The company  offered 16 million shares at $24 per share. This was at the high end of the range of $21 to $24 and values the company at over $2.5 billion.

The company originally filed back in January, but war in Ukraine has increased interest in LNG.

Excelerate, which has its head office in The Woodlands, provides flexible LNG infrastructure solutions, primarily in emerging markets. The company has a fleet of 10 Floating Storage Regasification units (FSRU).

Natural gas is cooled to approximately -160C at the source of production to reduce its volume down for transportation on an LNG carrier. The LNG needs to be brought back to its gas state at the area of consumption. One option is to have an LNG facility constructed on land, another is to do it offshore using a FSRU. The latter is often cheaper and quicker, especially in emerging markets.

Excelerate was formed in 2003 by George Kaiser, a Tulsa-based investor who is also the majority owner in BOK Financial Corporation (which also operates under the brands of Bank of Oklahoma and Bank of Texas).

For the 12 months ended September 2021, the company had revenues of $658 million. Currently the company has eight contracts in place for delivering regasified LNG to customers in Argentina, Brazil, Bangladesh, Israel, Pakistan and the UAE.

Steven Kobos has been the CEO of Excelerate since March 2018 and served as its counsel for the previous 11 years. Dana Armstrong is the CFO. She joined in April 2020 and was previously the CFO at Scientific Drilling.

S-1 filing – Excelerate Energy

Houston AdTech company completes $15 million IPO

Direct Digital Holdings, an AdTech company based in the Galleria, has completed its initial public offering. It raised $15 million by offering 2.8 million units (20%) at $5.50.

The company originally planned to offer 4 million shares at a range of $7 to $9. The recent stock market turbulence caused the company to reduce terms twice.

The company is a full-service advertising platform, primarily focused on providing advertising technology, data-driven campaign optimization to underserved and less efficient markets. The business was formed in 2018 by the merger of Huddled Masses (which focused on the buy-side) and Colossus Media (sell-side).

Expensive acquisition

However, digging into the S-1 registration statement, you find the real reason for the IPO.

In September 2020, the business acquired Orange142, a buy-side digital advertising business, based in Austin, for $26.2 million.  $12 million was paid in cash, funded by a term loan with a 16% interest rate. The rest was funded by an issue of shares ($4.3 million) and mandatory redeemable units ($9.9 million, that have an interest rate of approximately 8%).

For 2019, Orange142 had revenues of $17 million. However, it had a large client who transitioned their work in-house right after the acquisition. That client had revenues of $5.7 million in the 9 months to September 2020, but only $0.7 million in the 9 months to September 2021.

The proceeds of the IPO are being used to buy out the seller of Orange142 by buying back the shares and mandatory redeemable units.


For the 9 months to September 2021, the company had approximately 158 customers on the buy-side . These are advertising buyers at small and mid-size companies and advertising agencies. In the same time, the company worked on 1,300 individual campaigns. Sell-side clients include the US Army, Just Energy, and Visit Colorado Springs.

For the 9 months to September 2021, the company had revenues of $25 million and adjusted EBITDA of $4.5 million. The revenue was a 29% increase on the prior period, with the original business growing 57% and Orange142 growing 17% (even after the customer loss).


The business was formed by Mark Walker (who acts as Chairman & CEO) and Keith Smith (who is the President). Each owned 50% prior to the IPO. Both hold B.A. in Economics from The University of Texas.

Mr. Walker worked for NRG Energy from 2005 to 2016. From October 2016 to May 2019, he worked at CVG Group, a private equity firm, primarily as Acting COO for Ebony Media Operations.

Mr. Smith has an investment banking background and has worked for Standard & Poor’s, Rabobank International and Capital Point Partners. Most recently, he was CEO at Parkview Capital Credit, where he invested and managed more than $75 million with small and mid-sized companies to provide acquisition and capital growth.

Mr. Smith also acted as the CFO of the company, until the hire of Susan Echard in 2021. She originally joined the company as a consultant at SeatonHill LLC in February 2021. She became the CFO in May and a full-time employee in January 2022.

The shares will be listed on the Nasdaq under the symbol DRCT.

SEC filing – Direct Digital Registration Statement