Notorious for guiding the world’s most volatile IPOs in 2022, brokerage firm Network 1 Financial Securities Inc. is gearing up to usher a new group of microcap companies into the U.S. exchanges.
What Happened: The Red Bank, New Jersey-based firm is set to underwrite for Epsium Enterprise Ltd., a Macau-based alcoholic beverage wholesaler, and BRB Foods Inc., a Brazilian snack producer, Bloomberg reported. This marks a comeback after leading only a single deal last year.
In 2022, Network 1 caught the eye of Wall Street when its IPOs, including Chinese companies like Addentax Group Corp. ATXG, saw average first-day trading surges of nearly 2,000%, per Bloomberg’s data. However, most firms it underwrote are now trading lower, with a median 88% drop since going public.
The firm, established in 1983, has previously faced regulatory scrutiny for failing to detect suspicious transactions and insider trading, and for not developing written anti-money laundering programs according to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s records.
Recently, the SEC filed a civil lawsuit against Shawn Huang Shanchun, an alleged indirect owner of Network 1, accusing him of manipulating the price of Future Fintech Group Inc. FTFT. Network 1, however, is not named in the lawsuit.
“The case is just beginning, and we are a long way from any evidence being presented to a jury,” said Huang’s lawyer, Jacob Frenkel.
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