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When even pawn shops can’t go public

Saturday October 11, 2008

In a economic crisis like this, some lines of business might be expected to thrive: bankruptcy law firms, repossession agencies, psychotherapists, and perhaps even pawn shops.

But one of the companies dropping its ambitions of becoming public is just that — Florida-based pawn shop operator Value Financial. Value Financial, which operates 62 stores, mostly in Florida, had hoped to raise $60 million. According to the company’s SEC filing, the company was planning to use the net proceeds to pay off debts of about $35.5 million.

It stated as the unsurprising reason: “market conditions”.

The other companies that have pulled IPO plans this week operate businesses more commonly seen on the market: Research Triangle based biotech firm Aldagen, New Jersey-based marine transportation company K-Sea GP Holdings, life insurer Symetra, and professional employer organization SOI Holdings.

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