The Biggest IPOs of All Time

After Facebook’s record setting $16 billion IPO on Friday, which was received by the public with lackluster results, I started to think about other large IPOs and how they fared. While none had the hype of Facebook, the 3rd biggest IPO of all time, some had much better numbers.

#5 AT&T Wireless

On April 26, 2000, AT&T Wireless raised $10.6 billion in what was the largest IPO ever in the United States. The IPO was on a tough day for the markets, but still rose from $29.50 per share to $31.56 by the end of trading.

Even though it was in the midst of a tough market on the trail end of the .com boom of the late 90s, $10.6 billion in capital is nothing to brush off. The previous IPO to AT&T was UPS, which raised $5.5 billion.

AT&T Wireless is now a subsidiary of AT&T.

#4 Deutsche Telekom

On November 17, 1996, German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom raised $13 billion in a mega IPO that freed up cash for network expansion. The listing went live on the Tokyo, Frankfurt, and US exchange on the same day.

The sale of 25% of the company via 623 million shares gave it a valuation of $52 billion. To this day, the German government holds a 15% stake in the telecom carrier and shares are available on international exchanges.

Shares rose 19% on the first day of trading.

#3 General Motors

United States automaker GM was bailed out by the United States government in 2009 in a deal that cost American taxpayers and GM debt holders a lot of money. The company used the bailout funds for a strong turnaround and had an IPO on November 17, 2010 that raised $15.8 billion.

GM shares rose 3.6% on the first day of trading, closing at $34.19 after opening at $33 per share. Shares are currently trading at $21.18.

#2 Enel

On November 1, 1999, Italian utility Enel raised $16.5 billion in a US IPO. The stock was listed in both the United States and Europe.

This was a poorly run IPO, as the stock fell on the first day of trading.  The stock was delisted in the United States due to low trading volume, but is still available through international exchanges.

#1 Visa

The world largest credit card processor went public on March 18, 2008, and holds the record for the largest US IPO ever. Visa raised $17.9 billion on its first day of trading.

The stock debuted at $44 per share and rose 28% on the first day. The stock is now priced at $112.64 per share with a market cap of $92 billion, still shy of Facebook’s $104 billion.

Image: birgerking/flickr

10 thoughts on “The Biggest IPOs of All Time”

    1. I don’t know if I would say that. Visa is also a service company. But, unlike Facebook, it is one with an incredible revenue stream.

    2. I don’t know if I would say that. Visa is also a service company. But, unlike Facebook, it is one with an incredible revenue stream.

  1. At least Linkedin’s stock went up in the first day, and I think Groupon’s did as well. Facebook is the social media king but the stock was more overhyped than others, it would appear!

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