It has been a big year for initial public offerings, with companies such as GroPro and King Digital Entertainment making their debuts on the U.S. stock market. With the New Year around the corner, investors are looking forward to another exciting year of IPOs in 2015. Below, two Motley Fool contributors explain why luxury fashion retailer Tory Burch and car service Uber are posed to become two of the most anticipated IPO's in the year ahead.
Tim Beyers (Tory Burch): If you've heard of Michael Kors (NYSE:KORS), chances are you've also heard of Tory Burch. CEO and founder of the fashion label that bears her name, Burch is now a billionaire with a network of at least 125 freestanding locations and 3,000 store-in-store boutiques. Accessories partners include Luxottica (NYSE:LUX) for eyewear, Estee Lauder (NYSE:EL) for fragrances, and most recently, Fossil (NASDAQ:FOSL) for watches.
Why is Burch one to watch in 2015? Two reasons. First, she and her team are at the top of their game. Over the summer, they announced a partnership with Fitbit to accessorize the personal fitness trackers. A successful U.S. debut has since kicked off an international expansion, including a UK release ahead of the holiday shopping season.
Separately, The Wall Street Journal reports that Burch hired former Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL) executive Roger Farah in September to serve as co-CEO. Farah brings a track record and operations expertise to a well-known brand, which is exactly what you'd want if your intent was to impress investors ahead of an initial public offering.
For her part, Burch told the Journal that there were no immediate plans for an IPO. "We want to grow on our own terms, in our own way, and don't want to have to answer to the public at this point," Burch said. Fair enough. But just like fashion, tastes can change quickly. A Tory Burch IPO might not be "in" right now, but by spring 2015, it may be all the rage.
Tamara Walsh (Uber): Mobile ride-hailing service Uber is officially one of the mostly richly valued tech start-ups today. The company finished its latest round of financing recently, raising a whopping $1.2 billion from mutual fund giants like T. Rowe Price and Fidelity. The latest round of funding translates into a $40 billion valuation, according to Bloomberg. Since its founding in 2009 Uber has grown from a little-known mobile app connecting riders to drivers into a multinational powerhouse, which currently operates in over 200 cities worldwide.
This rapid growth has made the private transportation company a favored investment among private equity firms and institutional investors. However, these early investors will want to cash out at a higher valuation, and the best way to do so is through an initial public offering. Taking Uber public puts fresh money on the table. Moreover, it is the endgame for many of the big names that are already invested such as Goldman Sachs and Fidelity.
There is pressure on Uber to go public in 2015, as it would undoubtedly be one of the biggest offerings of the year. Nevertheless, individual investors should be wary of jumping in at the IPO because of the high expectations that are currently baked into Uber's valuation.
Tamara Rutter has no position in any stocks mentioned. Tim Beyers has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Fossil and Michael Kors Holdings. The Motley Fool owns shares of Michael Kors Holdings. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.