The World’s Largest IPOs Adjusted For Inflation

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The World’s Largest IPOs Adjusted For Inflation

The World’s Largest IPOs Adjusted For Inflation

Billion-dollar initial public offerings (IPOs) are always eyebrow-raising events, and many have already made headlines in 2020.

Following the recent trend of tech IPOs outnumbering and out-hyping the competition, software has led the way. Cloud storage company Snowflake raised $3.4 billion in the largest-ever software IPO, while gaming software developer Unity completed an IPO above its target price for a total of $1.3 billion and big data firm Palantir opted for a direct listing for a valuation of $22 billion.

More big names are still on the horizon. Both Airbnb and DoorDash have filed for December IPOs that would see them valued at close to $30 billion. It’s a big recovery for an IPO market that in 2019 saw major IPOs from Uber and Lyft underperform estimates.

But it was the last-minute cancellation of Ant Group’s IPO in November that would have been the largest public offering ever. At $34.5 billion, it would have eclipsed the massive $25.9 billion raised by energy giant Saudi Aramco in 2019.

How would this have stacked up against the world’s largest IPOs in history? We took the 25 largest global IPOs by nominal offering size as tracked by research firm Renaissance Capital, and adjusted them for inflation to October 2020 dollars.

NTT Docomo Tops the (Adjusted) Chart

Unicorn IPOs might be the current flavor in 2020, but they pale in comparison to communication and resource giants.

When adjusted for inflation, the largest ever IPO was Japan’s major mobile phone carrier NTT Docomo. The company went public as NTT Mobile Communications Network for a then-record $18 billion in 1998, which is $28.7 billion when adjusted for inflation to 2020.

Company IPO Date Industry Deal Size ($B) Inflation Adjusted ($B)
NTT Mobile Oct 1998 Communication Services 18.1 28.7
Saudi Aramco Dec 2019 Energy 25.6 25.9
ENEL SpA Nov 1999 Utilities 16.5 25.5
Alibaba (U.S.) Sep 2014 Technology 21.8 23.9
SoftBank Corp Dec 2018 Communication Services 21.3 22.1
Visa Mar 2008 Technology 17.9 21.8
Deutsche Telekom Nov 1996 Communication Services 13 21.3
AIA Group Oct 2010 Financials 17.8 21.2
General Motors Nov 2010 Consumer Discretionary 15.8 18.8
Facebook May 2012 Technology 16 18.1
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Disclosure: None.

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