Signs of life are emerging on the frozen tundra of the initial public offer (IPO) market, but promoters are taking a ‘manana’ approach to when they will push the button on listing.

Your columnist is certainly hearing about more IPO prospects but, like a Tinder date, true commitment is rare.

So far in 2023 there have been 17 completed IPOs, compared with 88 in 2022 and more than 200 in 2021. A mere 10 are in the offing, with four of them citing ‘TBA’ – ‘to be announced’ or ‘too bloody ‘ard’ – as their listing date.

At the top end, Virgin Australia’s vaunted $1 billion is meant to take place later this year, but like so many flights the take-off time is subject to change.

A hitherto obscure chemicals and ingredients distributor, Redox was an outlier with its $400 million IPO and listing in early July.

Abacus Storage King (ASX:ASK) – a spin-off from the listed property trust Abacus Storage – listed last week. Along the way Storage King raised $225 million and the shares are trading above their $1.41 a share issue price.

A handful of junior explorers are chancing their arm with pending IPOs, targeting gold, nickel, copper, uranium, lithium and whatever else they can find.

In the quiet life sciences sector, Cleo Diagnostics plans to raise $12 million and list on August 18. Cleo hopes to commercialise a non-invasive test for ovarian cancer, which currently is hard to detect.

Cleo is developing a so-called triage test, to determine the chances of a malignant ovarian mass in patients not referred to an oncologist.

Formerly known as Polyline Pipe Systems, the Perth based Mobile Pipe Solutions (MPS) is undertaking a $4 million pre-IPO raising, in view of hitting the bourse next year.

An IPO pipeline component in a literal sense, MPS seeks to revolutionise the use of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipes, which are extensively used in mining, oil and gas and infrastructure projects.

Globally, it’s a $US20 billion ($30 billion) market.

With apologies to Danny Boy, why should the pipes be calling investors? The answer is that currently the widely-used pipes are usually made at an urban facility and transported in sections to the site of the project by long-haul vehicle.

The sections are welded together when they are put in place – at intervals of 12-20 metres and often for hundreds of kilometres.

Instead of bringing the mountain to Mohammed, MPS has developed a containerised mobile that involves manufacturing the pipe in situ (from plastic pellets) and rolling it off the truck in continuous lengths.

The key selling point is that as well as being faster, the process reduced welding costs by about 90 per cent and overall costs by at least 20 per cent. It also obviates the need for ongoing checking of the welds.

MPS managing director Ian Dorrington says the company uses the same resins as everyone else: “Our IP relates to the mobility and cooling aspects. It is the same product, delivered differently.”

MPC has completed its first major contract, for uranium developer Vimy Resources. The company cites $41 million of “qualified new business opportunities” in the, er pipeline, with a bold prediction of $97 million in revenues within three years.

Meanwhile, ASS data confirms that IPO conditions are as quiet as they have been for 11 years.

But that’s not so much the case with secondary raisings: 1050 companies rustled up a collective $30 billion, which compared creditably with the 500 Nasdaq companies that raised $US36 billion ($55 billion).

This story does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.