Year-end Surged in M&A Activity

Year-end Surged in M&A Activity

The recent analysis reveals that the 2009 Q4 numbers are in and they proved beneficial for companies looking to get acquired or go public in 2010. In addition, corporate buyers invested in the fourth quarter, and tech IPOs are performing well.

Also, deals are making a new arrival after the economic catastrophe and are setting up venture capitalists for a promising 2010 across various sectors. Venture-backed M&A deals returning less than the amount invested accounted for 23 percent of the quarter's total, compared to 50 percent of the total in the previous quarter.

"Through the year we have seen more and bolder moves", said Giuseppe Zocco, a co-founder of Index Ventures. "Across multiple sectors you've had a rebound, so it won't be just one that benefits".

Public sector has witnessed a great demand appetite for initial public offerings from venture-backed companies. Since September, 18 venture-backed companies have filed to go public, and by all accounts many more are preparing to file.

Technology firms saw most of the acquisition activity with buyers spending $1.83 billion for 18 venture-backed medical companies last quarter, up from $186.2 million on nine acquisitions in the third quarter.

Even energy sector discerned a $215 million on three deals in the fourth quarter, after one $15 million deal in the third quarter, which was the first acquisition in six quarters in the sector. Values of venture-backed mergers and acquisitions were on a high in the last quarter in comparison to the earlier period of the year across all categories, with consumer services on a boom with $997 million, up from $227 million, but most of that total comes from Amazon. com Inc.'s $847 million purchase of online shoe retailer Zappos. com Inc., which was the largest deal of the quarter.