Magazine article American Banker

Chase H&Q Says Tech Slide Doesn't Darken Its Outlook

Magazine article American Banker

Chase H&Q Says Tech Slide Doesn't Darken Its Outlook

Article excerpt

SAN FRANCISCO -

Despite a faltering market for technology offerings, the mood was upbeat Tuesday at Chase H&Q's technology conference.

Amid another two days of declines in the Nasdaq index, the market "is not as much fun for issuers" of initial public offerings, said Daniel H. Case 3d, chairman and chief executive officer of the Chase Manhattan Corp. unit.

But Mr. Case said he is confident that the market will rebound. And if it does not, he and other Chase officials said, there are other opportunities for their company -- in leveraged buyouts.

The Nasdaq slide has hit IPO volume hard. In April, 19 companies postponed their IPOs and 14 withdrew first-time offerings, as investors' appetite for technology stocks waned. Indeed, shares of companies presenting at the conference had dropped about 40% from their 52-week high, Mr. Case said.

Attendance was 5,000 at the conference, an annual event sponsored for decades by Hambrecht & Quist, which Chase bought in December for $1.35 billion. It is considered one of most important venues for tech companies trying to pitch themselves to investors. Those on hand this year ranged from weddingchannel.com to 3Com.

Chase gave no indication that it is worried that its investment in H&Q could fall short of expectations should more companies withdraw or postpone their IPOs.

"We've always prospered in times like this," said James B. Lee Jr., a vice chairman at the banking company

"It's when we turn up the volume. …

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