After several stops and starts over the past few years, L.A.’s IPO market is showing signs of healthy activity, according to a new report.

Two local companies went public during the second quarter, while three other companies filed papers for an initial public offering, joining three that were already in the pipeline, according to Ernst & Young LLP’s U.S. IPO Pipeline study released last week.

Nationwide, 82 companies filed to go public, bringing the total number in the pipeline to 140: the highest levels since before the financial crisis.

“After a somewhat … sluggish first quarter, activity has definitely picked up and we see a host of technology, energy and financial companies ready to come to market and bolster second-half results as well,” Herb Engert, an Ernst & Young executive, said in a statement.

In Los Angeles, Wesco Aircraft Holdings Inc., Oaktree Capital Group LLC and Ceres Inc. each filed papers during the second quarter to go public, joining TMAC Mortgage Co., Targeted Medical Pharma Inc. and GameFly Inc. in the pipeline.

Still, not every offering is generating a lot of interest.

Wesco, which registered in April, fell short of expectations when it went public last week. The Valencia aerospace supplier, owned by private-equity firm Carlyle Group, priced 21 million shares at $15 apiece, raising $315 million. Shares had been expected to price between $15.50 and $17.50. In its first full day of trading, shares fell slightly, closing July 28 at $14.92.

Wesco’s offering came soon after Boingo Wireless Inc.’s debut. The Santa Monica Wi-Fi network operator met expectations in May with a $78 million IPO, but shares have fallen 34 percent from the offering price.

Air Lease Corp. has also sputtered, but not as badly. The Century City jetliner leasing company raised a whopping $800 million in its April IPO, but shares have fallen 8 percent since then.

Nevada Merger

SCE Federal Credit Union, which for decades has served the market around its Irwindale headquarters, is going to Sin City.

The credit union, which has nearly $500 million in assets, recently announced it will absorb Sonepco Federal Credit Union, a small Las Vegas institution. The merger, which requires approval from regulators and Sonepco’s members, will boost SCE’s assets to $560 million, and give it 50,000 members and 10 branch locations.

“The current plans to merge with Sonepco will benefit each organization, most notably providing all members with an expanded branch network when they travel between Southern California and Nevada,” SCE Chief Executive Dennis Huber said in a statement.

SCE was founded in 1952 to serve workers of Southern California Edison.

Free and Clear

Several top credit union leaders can finally breathe a little easier.

A federal judge in Los Angeles last week officially dismissed complaints brought by federal regulators against the former directors of Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, a San Dimas institution that failed in 2009. Among the dozen defendants dismissed was Bill Cheney, the former head of the California Credit Union League.

The National Credit Union Administration, a regulatory body overseeing the nation’s credit unions, had filed a lawsuit against the former officers and directors of the corporate credit union, known as WesCorp, seeking more than $1 billion in damages, alleging the directors pursued overly risky investments that led to the failure.

The dismissal of charges had been expected. U.S. District Court Judge George Wu had said previously that the directors were covered by California’s so-called business judgment rule, but he gave the plaintiffs time to respond.

However, Wu did not dismiss the charges against three of WesCorp’s former officers, meaning the lawsuit will likely proceed to trial unless a settlement is reached. Wu set a scheduling conference for Aug. 25.

C-Suite News

First California Financial Group Inc., the Westlake Village holding company for First California Bank, announced that Gilbert Dalmau has been appointed chief banking officer. … Alison Davis has resigned from the boards of City National Corp. and its subsidiary, City National Bank, for undisclosed reasons. … Comerica Bank has hired John Tellenbach as group manager for its Los Angeles County business banking operations and James Kelley as alternate group manager for the same division.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at rclough@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.