Greg Owens, chairman and CEO of IronPlanet, which operates an online marketplace for used equipment and agricultural equipment, said at a press briefing this morning that the company could file for an IPO sometime this year.
According to Owens, the company has been able to grow consistently throughout the recession. "We experienced no downturn," he said, noting the company has seen 35-40% growth annually.
According to Owens, IronPlanet considered issuing an IPO in 2010, but since capital markets were weak, lead underwriters JPMorgan and Deutsch Bank Securities advised it was not the right time. Recent market improvement, however, coupled with the continued strength of IronPlanet's business, are bringing the IPO option to the forefront once again.
Owens says used equipment pricing is strengthening as lead times for U.S. manufacturers are lengthening. "There's going to be a lack of equipment in the U.S. as demand increases," further bolstering the need for IronPlanet's services.
IronPlanet holds weekly global auctions, averaging 17,000 participants and 1,000 buyers per auction. "We provide better price realization through a global audience of buyers," he says, noting international business has become a significant portion of IronPlanet's business. Owens said 34% of the equipment sold in 2010 was to international buyers.
"This is the Internet age," Owens stated. "The online marketplace is displacing traditional channels."