The pace of both M&A exits and IPOs picked up in the first quarter, as the economy continued to improve and buyout shops looked ahead to their next fundraisings.
The number of exits through M&A by U.S. buyout shops totaled 69 for the first quarter of 2010, better than the 49 such exits Buyouts identified during the same period last year. The quarter also saw four portfolio companies taken public, compared with none a year earlier, when IPO activity basically meant registration withdrawals.
The value of M&A exits with disclosed terms, $4.3 billion, fell markedly from the year earlier in large measure because of Atlantis Holdings LLC’s $28.1 billion sale of Alltel Corp. to Verizon Wireless Inc. last year. Atlantis Holdings, formed by
All told there were 30 M&A exits with known valuations in the latest period; none exceeded the $1 billion threshold. Three had valuations of at least $500 million. Eight had valuations ranging from $100 million to $500 million and 19 were valued at less than $100 million.
The three largest M&A exits came from
Industry-wise, the business services sector was the most active with 13 M&A exits transactions. Retail was ranked second with six; split four-to-two between miscellaneous retail trade and retail trade-eating and drinking places sub-sectors.
As the number of M&A exits increased from a year ago, so too did the number of initial public offerings.
Sensata Technologies Inc. (NYSE: ST) was the largest IPO the first quarter, based on a post-offer value of $3.08 billion. The Attleboro, Mass.-based company sold 31.6 million shares for $18 each on March 11, to raise $568.8 million. The shares were priced at the low end of the anticipated range of $18 to $20 a share.
Based on closing stock prices on March 31, half of the portfolio companies that went public are trading above their IPO prices. Shares of Graham Packaging Co. are up 20.32 percent.
The remaining two IPOs of the quarter were down as of the end of the period. Close to press time, Sensata Technologies’s shares were down 22 cents from its IPO price of $18. Shares of
A number of other portfolio companies are being prepped for IPOs. One of the recent filers is
Another is Milwaukee, Wis.-based Douglas Dynamics Inc., which plans a $150 million IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The maker of snow plows and salt spreaders is backed by