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NovoCure IPO Stumbles Out of the Gate

NovoCure Ltd. (NASDAQ: NVCR) priced its initial public offering (IPO) of 12.5 million shares at $22 a share, sharply below the original anticipated range of $25 to $29 and even below a revised range of $23 to $24. Shares tumbled to an intra-day low Friday of $18.67, down more than 15% before staging a comeback to around $19.50. The stock opened at $20.16.

NovoCure is a commercial-stage oncology company developing a novel, proprietary therapy called TTFields for the treatment of solid tumor cancers. Joint bookrunners for the offering are JPMorgan, Deutsche Bank and Evercore Partners. Co-managers are Wells Fargo Securities, JMP Securities and Wedbush PacGrow. The underwriters have a 30-day option on an additional 1.125 million shares.

The company sold 7.5 million shares in the IPO and existing shareholders sold 5 million. NovoCure expected to receive $185.5 million in net proceeds at the midpoint of the revised range, if the underwriters took their full over-allotment options. The actual IPO price is about 6.4% below the midpoint of the revised range ($23.50). The $1.50 difference cost the company about $10.5 million, according information included in Thursday’s amended Form S-1 filing.

There were 14 health care IPOs globally in the third quarter, according to IPO ETF manager Renaissance Capital. Those IPOs raised a total of $2.1 billion, compared with a third quarter total of $5.4 billion in 2014 and a second quarter total this year of $4.9 billion. The three best performing of all 42 global IPOs in the quarter were health care companies, and two of the three worst performers were also health care companies.

In mid-afternoon trading, NovoCure’s shares traded down more than 13% at $19.07, in a first-day range of $18.67 to $20.48.

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By Paul Ausick