Philadelphia, PA – October 29, 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorne…

Philadelphia, PA – October 29, 2004 LAWFUEL – Law, legal, attorney, law firm news Barry M. Abelson, chairman of Pepper
Hamilton LLP’s Corporate and Securities Practice Group and chairman of the
firm’s Executive Committee, moderated a keynote presentation on initial
public offerings at the 2004 Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference on October 27,

The presentation featured executives of four regional companies who led
their companies through IPOs in 2004: Katherine Crothall, chairman and CEO
of Animas Corporation; Gerri Henwood, chairman and CEO of Auxilium
Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; James G. Murphy, senior vice president and CFO of
Immunicon Corporation; and Anne VanLent, executive vice president and CFO of
Barrier Therapeutics, Inc.

Each successfully raised local venture capital by participating in the
Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference, and each then successfully grew their
company to the point where entry into the public market was a viable option.

The panel members discussed their recent experiences and their perspectives
on the decisions, planning and pressure points surrounding an IPO, as well
as the impact of the “going public” transaction on the company’s operations,
governance, accounting and compliance practices.

In his introductory remarks, Mr. Abelson said, “This year has seen a
remarkable rebound in the number of IPOs nationally, reflecting an overall
positive outlook for the capital markets in general. In 2003, there were 87
IPOs nationally. This year through September 30, there have been 167 IPOs,
with 23 more in October, for over $34 billion in new capital. Some
forecasters are predicting 50 more by year end, since there are 162
companies in the IPO queue. If that forecast holds true, 2004 will be the
most active year in the IPO market since the glory days of 2000.

“As to venture-backed companies, in the third quarter alone, 24 raised $3.2
billion through IPOs; that’s the highest number of venture-backed IPOs since
the fourth quarter of 2000, when there were 27. Of those 24 companies, 18
were trading above their IPO price on October 1.”

The Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference ( is one of the leading
private equity conferences in the country. It showcases the best young
companies in the Mid-Atlantic region and provides those companies with
exposure to top VCs and private equity investors. The annual fall event,
held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, attracted
approximately 1,300 attendees, including an audience of more than 300
investors from across the country. Mr. Abelson will chair the conference in
2005, and Jeffrey P. Libson, another Pepper partner, will co-chair the

The Greater Philadelphia Venture Group (GPVG) ( is the host of
the Mid-Atlantic Venture Conference. GPVG, the umbrella organization for
venture funds and related service providers in the Philadelphia region,
promotes the region’s status as a top private equity market and fosters a
world-class private equity and entrepreneurial environment for venture
capitalists, entrepreneurs, service providers and angel investors.

Mr. Abelson concentrates his practice in securities, venture capital, and
merger and acquisition transactions. He has substantial experience in
public and private offerings of equity and debt securities (representing
issuers, underwriters and venture capitalists) and acquisitions and
dispositions of public and private companies. In addition, Mr. Abelson
regularly counsels boards of directors, independent board committees and
senior management of companies on governance, disclosure and transactional
matters. He is a member of the board of directors of the Greater
Philadelphia Venture Group.

Pepper Hamilton LLP ( is a multi-practice law firm with
400 lawyers in six states and the District of Columbia. The firm provides
corporate, litigation and regulatory legal services to leading businesses,
governmental entities, nonprofit organizations and individuals throughout
the nation and the world. The firm was founded in 1890.


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