[Hospitality Net] This year set a record for travel companies going public or announcing they will go public, setting up 2022 to be another banner year, too.
In 2021, a half-dozen companies had traditional IPOs. In the following chart, “cash to balance sheet” is our estimate of how much money went to the company after shareholders, debts, and other items were paid.
Another trend in 2021 was a surge in the popularity of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs). Skift began the year alerting readers to what these blank-check companies were and why they would be popular in 2021.
Three travel companies merged with blank check companies and went public this year.
The froth represented a broader boom in initial public offerings. This year, more than 300 operating companies have gone public in a traditional IPO or direct listing in the U.S. markets, by far the most of any year since 2000, said Jay Ritter, a professor of finance at the University of Florida who studies IPOs.
“Close to 200 have gone public by merging with a SPAC,” Ritter said. “Combining these numbers, the number of operating company new listings is the highest of any year since 1996.”