* IPO market moved from "abysmal to viable"-trade group
* Last year busiest on record for venture-backed M&A
* Biggest venture-backed IPO in Q4 was FleetCor
By Liana B. Baker
NEW YORK, Jan 3 The fourth quarter set a decade
record for venture capital-backed IPO activity as SinoTech
Energy Ltd CTE.O and other Chinese companies sold stock on
Data released on Monday showed 17 Chinese companies funded
by U.S. venture capital funds went public in the United States
in the fourth quarter, bringing the total number of
venture-backed IPOs for the period to 32.
Collectively, the stock sales raised $3.6 billion, about
three times the number of venture-backed IPOs in all of 2009,
according to a report by the National Venture Capital
Association and Thomson Reuters.
"In 2010 we moved from 'abysmal to viable' in the
venture-backed IPO market," said National Venture Capital
Association President Mark Heesen. Deal momentum will continue
in 2011, he said, as 42 venture-backed companies have filed for
IPOs with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The data, which also showed 2010 was the busiest year on
record for venture-backed mergers and acquisitions, showed
renewed confidence among dealmakers about the appetite for
companies involved in growth areas like technology and in
China. Last year, the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose nearly 17
Of the fourth-quarter's venture-backed IPOs, 20 of the 32
were trading at or above their offering prices on Friday.
FleetCor Technologies (FLT.N), a credit card processing
company based in Norcross, Georgia, was the largest
venture-backed IPO in the quarter, raising $291.5
Outside of the technology and life sciences sectors,
SinoTech Energy, a Chinese oilfield company, was the largest
venture-backed IPO of the quarter, raising $167.8 million.
(For more on Chinese IPOs, click [ID:nN12147138]).
More than 400 acquisitions were completed during 2010, the
greatest number of venture-backed M&A exits since records began
There were 88 venture-backed M&A deals in the quarter, 36 of
which had an aggregate value of $5.7 billion.
The information technology sector led venture-backed M&A
with 72 deals, mostly involving Internet and computer software
The biggest venture-backed M&A deal of the quarter was
HealthSpring Inc's HS.N acquisition of Bravo Health for $545
(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)