Wood: Roster of public companies rebounds

After losing a number of public companies to relocation or sale in recent years, the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado have seen a flurry of companies entering the public markets. And they’re taking diverse paths toward that end.

First the recent losses:

•  Zayo Group Holdings Inc., a Boulder-based telecommunications provider, was taken private in a $14.3 billion deal in early 2020.

• Advanced Energy Industries Inc. (Nasdaq: AEIS) moved its corporate headquarters from Fort Collins to Denver last year.

• Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. (NYSE: SMB) completed its acquisition of AeroGrow International Inc. in November 2020.

Earlier sales occurred for Array BioPharma Inc. (bought by Pfizer in 2019), Level 3 Communications (which merged with Centurylink in 2017) and many others. Whether through relocation, merger or acquisition, the loss of publicly traded companies can lower a region’s profile nationally and globally.

But the region’s slate of publicly traded companies has bounced back with a wave of new additions, as companies used initial public offerings, confidential IPOs, mergers, acquisitions, or special-purpose acquisition companies, known as SPACs — entities formed with the intention of going public, then merging with other companies, thereby taking them public.

BizWest recently updated its list of publicly traded companies based in the Boulder Valley or Northern Colorado. Among the new additions:

• Edgewise Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: EWTX), based in Boulder, in March raised $202.4 million in an IPO that it filed confidentially. (The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allows companies to file IPOs confidentially if they have less than $1 billion in revenue.)

• Lightning eMotors Inc. (NYSE: ZEV), a Loveland-based electric-vehicle company, completed its merger with GigCapital3 Inc., a SPAC, in early May, providing the company with $268 million in gross proceeds.

• Enservco Corp. (NYSE American: ENSV), a provider of well-site services to the oil and gas industry, relocated its headquarters from Denver to southwest Weld County.

• Boulder-based Brickell Biotech Inc. (Nasdaq: BBI) in September 2019 completed its merger with California-based Vical Inc., thereby taking Brickell public.

• Auddia Inc. (Nasdaq: AUUD), a Boulder company focused on smartphone apps for Internet-streamed radio stations, went public in February, raising $16.5 million.

• Biodesix Inc. (Nasdaq: BDSX), based in Boulder, went public in late 2020, netting $63.8 million in proceeds for the biotech company.

And that’s not all. Biotech company Cytocom Inc., which moved its headquarters to Fort Collins from Florida in December, intends to go public by acquiring Cleveland BioLabs Inc. (Nasdaq: CBLI), based in New York. And Cytocom CEO Michael Handley is seeking to raise $115 million through a new SPAC, Sparta Healthcare Acquisition Corp.

SomaLogic Inc., another Boulder biotech company, plans to go public through a SPAC merger, a deal announced in April.

Several other SPACs have formed in Boulder, but they might eventually shift outside the region after consummating mergers or acquisitions of target companies.

Dealogic reports that global proceeds from initial public offerings — including SPACS — have totaled $230 billion through April, with 875 IPOs raising $1 million or more. Analysts question how long the boom in SPACs and IPOs can last, but in the meantime, the frenzy is bringing a wave of newly public companies into the Boulder Valley and Northern Colorado fold, bringing with them the requisite SEC filings, ticker symbols and notoriety for the region.

Christopher Wood can be reached at 303-630-1942, 970-232-3133 or via email at cwood@bizwest.com.

See related BizWest 500 story.