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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The stalled parade of 2019 IPOs, for highly-valued companies like Uber and Lyft, may resume now that the government shutdown is over.

1 big caveat: Today's agreement is only temporary, with President Trump warning that he may shut the government down again in three weeks. Companies may not want to start the clock amidst such uncertainty.

The Securities and Exchange Commission has been effectively closed since the shutdown began last month, preventing prospective issuers from getting feedback on confidential filings, or from getting traditional IPO prospectuses deemed effective.

We don't know how long it will take confidential filers to get their papers in order, but it generally takes a little over a month (at a minimum) between the time a company files a publicly available S-1 document and the time it prices its IPO.

  • One timing pressure is that companies like to avoid pricing between Labor Day and Memorial Day, when many big investors are liable to be on vacation. So it's beneficial for first-half issuers to get S-1 documents out by the end of March, in case there are subsequent hiccups.

There also are several prospective issuers, including Gossamer Bio, that had been planning to go public despite the shutdown. That would have involved a risky use of a Securities Act clause that allows companies to file at a fixed price and then have its IPO registration become effective 20 calendar days later (i.e., no SEC approval needed).

It is unclear if the efforts will move forward, or be reworked. A spokesman for Gossamer has not yet returned a request for comment.

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook's scandals have been great for shareholders

Expand chart
Data: YCharts; Chart: Axios

Facebook has been embroiled in scandal for the past five years, and while the specific allegations change over time, a central theme is constant. Given the choice between commercial and moral imperatives, Facebook always seems to choose the option that is best for the share price.

Why it matters: Facebook's stock chart supports that narrative. Since the 2016 scandals alleging that the social network was infiltrated by foreign actors trying to influence the outcome of democratic elections, Facebook's revenues — and its stock — have been soaring.

Biden to tap telecom trio for NTIA, FCC posts

Jessica Rosenworcel. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

President Joe Biden on Tuesday is expected to name Alan Davidson as head of the telecom arm of the Commerce Department, Jessica Rosenworcel as chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission and Gigi Sohn as a commissioner at the FCC, according to a person familiar with the process.

Why it matters: Internet availability and affordability has been a key policy priority for the White House, but the administration lagged in tapping people for the agency posts that oversee the issues.

3 hours ago - Technology

Facebook seeks fountain of youth

Data: Piper Sandler Taking Stock With Teens Study; Chart: Axios Visuals

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Monday said that the company is pivoting its strategy to focus on young adults, following reports that teens have fled its apps.

Why it matters: A series of stories based on leaked whistleblower documents suggest the company sees the aging of its user base as an existential threat to its business.