Kenvue IPO: corporate carve-outs provide rare payday for bankers

The deep freeze within the US itemizing market has despatched a shiver by Wall Road. Previous to this week, corporations had raised simply $2.4bn by conventional IPOs this 12 months, based on Dealogic. That’s the lowest quantity in 14 years.

For fee-starved bankers, one spot of heat persists: company carve-outs. In a carve-out, the subsidiary is separated utilizing a typical IPO sale, reasonably than first distributed to shareholders through a dividend. Three of the largest IPO offers final 12 months have been carve-outs.

The development continues. Kenvue, the patron arm of healthcare colossus Johnson & Johnson, raised $3.8bn in an expanded providing this week. The deal, which values Kenvue at greater than $41.5bn, is the largest US itemizing since 2021.

Kenvue, proprietor of Tylenol painkillers and Listerine mouthwash, made about $1.5bn in web earnings on gross sales of $15bn on a professional forma foundation in 2022. It has priced at a punchy valuation of 28.5 instances trailing earnings. That compares to the 23 instances on which J&J itself trades and the 20 and 25 instances that client items corporations equivalent to Reckitt Benckiser and Procter & Gamble command.

Worthwhile Kenvue may also carry a dividend yield of greater than 3.6 per cent based mostly on a deliberate quarterly payout of about 20 cents a share. J&J stays majority shareholder, with a 90 per cent curiosity, after the IPO. That creates a possible inventory provide overhang. Future litigation is one other threat. J&J will deal with all talcum powder-related liabilities within the US and Canada however Kenvue could also be topic to claims from elsewhere.

The efficiency of current carve-outs is uneven. Out of the three most important examples from final 12 months, solely Mobileye World, Intel’s self-driving automotive unit, trades above its IPO value. Kenvue’s slow-growth however regular, cash-generative companies provide some defensiveness. Given not too long ago unstable fairness markets, that ought to provide some consolation to potential patrons.

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