GIC-backed consulting firm soars after raising $1b in IPO

SAN FRANCISCO • Technology consulting firm Thoughtworks Holding climbed as much as 40 per cent in its trading debut after raising US$773 million (S$1.05 billion) in one of four large initial public offerings (IPOs) priced above their marketed ranges.

Leading a burst of US IPOs that delivered first-day gains for investors on Wednesday, the Chicago-based company's shares closed at US$29.39 in New York trading, giving the company a market value of almost US$9 billion. The company sold almost 37 million shares for US$21 on Tuesday after marketing them for US$18 to US$20.

Thoughtworks, which is changing its name from Turing Holding as part of the IPO, is kicking off a seasonal surge in United States listings following the US Labour Day weekend. The 781 IPOs raising more than US$248 billion on US exchanges this year already top what was an all-time record of US$180 billion raised during all of last year, according to Bloomberg.

At least five other companies filed this week to begin marketing their shares for listings of more than US$100 million. They include Sovos Brands, the owner of Rao's Homemade pasta sauces, as well as online jeweller Brilliant Earth Group.

Companies registering big share gains in their trading debuts on Wednesday included three others that exceeded goals in their IPOs: On Holding, the maker of On running and performance shoes, rose 46 per cent in its debut after raising US$746 million.

Coffee chain Dutch Bros finished its first day of trading up 59 per cent after its US$484 million offering. Definitive Healthcare scored the best first-day gain of the group, closing up 60 per cent after its US$420 million IPO.

Thoughtworks, with more than 9,000 employees based in 17 countries, provides a combination of engineering and consulting services.

Digital Transformation chief executive Guo Xiao said he sees a tremendous amount of growth from the ongoing digital transformation of businesses. "We don't want to just follow digital trends, we want to help establish them," he said in an interview.

"There will be a constant state of change in the next 10 to 20 years," he said. "Every business will become a modern digital business. It will be embedded. It will be part of the DNA."

Thoughtworks, backed by Apax Partners, had net income of US$37 million on revenue of US$498 million during the first six months of this year. That compared with net income of US$38 million on revenue of US$401 million during the same period last year.

Apax Control Funds affiliated with Apax will continue to control the company after the IPO, according to the filing. Siemens and affiliates of Singapore's GIC also own stakes in the company.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2021, with the headline 'GIC-backed consulting firm soars after raising $1b in IPO'. Subscribe