Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Rocket Companies, a Detroit-based mortgage lender operating under the Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans brands, raised $1.8 billion in an IPO that had been expected to raise upward of $3.3 billion.

Why it matters: This was a stunning flop, or at least so far as any $1.3 billion IPO can be deemed a flop. Not only because it came amidst a broad-based IPO surge, but also because it followed the IPO overperformance from insurance upstart Lemonade.

  • Rocket priced 100 million shares at $18, versus plans to sell 150 million shares at $20–$22.
  • It will list on the NYSE (RKT), used Goldman Sachs as lead underwriter, and is controlled by chairman Dan Gilbert.
  • The company reports $97 million of net income on $1.37 billion in revenue for Q1 2020.

The bottom line: "Rocket struggled to convince investors its mortgage platform business justified a valuation conferred to a technology company rather than a financial services firm." writes Reuters.

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 23, 2020 - Economy & Business

What the 2020 SPAC boom means for 2021

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The blank-check boom of 2020 is sapping the 2021 IPO market of prospective issuers.

Driving the news: SPAC godfather Alec Gores this morning announced the market's largest-ever deal, with Gores Holdings IV (Nasdaq: GHIV) agreeing to buy wholesale mortgage lender UWM at an enterprise value of approximately $16.1 billon.

Pundits react to a chaotic debate: “What a dark event we just witnessed”

The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden in Cleveland on Tuesday night was a shouting match, punctuated by interruptions and hallmarked by name-calling.

Why it matters: If Trump aimed to make the debate as chaotic as possible with a torrent of disruptions, he succeeded. Pundits struggled to make sense of what they saw, and it's tough to imagine that the American people were able to either.

Trump to far-right Proud Boys: "Stand back and stand by"

Asked to condemn white supremacist violence at the first presidential debate on Tuesday, President Trump said the far-right Proud Boys group should "stand back and stand by," before immediately arguing that violence in the U.S. "is not a right-wing problem. This is a left-wing problem."

Why it matters: Trump has repeatedly been accused of failing to condemn white nationalism and right-wing violence, despite the FBI's assessment that it's the most significant domestic terrorism threat that the country faces. The president has frequently associated antifa and the left-wing violence that has afflicted some U.S. cities with Biden, despite his condemnation of violent protests.