Q1 2012: Europe saw the largest PE-backed IPO in 18 months

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  • Private equity-backed IPOs represented well over 1/3 of total IPO value globally with US$6.1b out of US$16.4b and 36 deals out of 181 IPOs.
  • Compared to Q4'11, PE-backed deals increased by 33% in number of deals and rise by 40% in capital raised.
  • Compared to Q1'11, PE-backed deals increased by 80% in volume of deals and by 57% decrease in capital raised. This is largely due to a number of record-breaking deals in Q1'11.
  • Seven of the top 20 global IPOs were PE-backed companies.
  • Global average deal size was US$168.4m in Q1'12, remaining steady with Q4'11 (US$160.6m).
  • The pipeline of PE-backed filings continues to expand, providing positive signs of continued momentum. Twenty five PE-backed companies filed their intentions to go public in the first three months of the year, including the arts and crafts' retailer, Michaels Stores.
  • However, data from Dealogic indicates that nine IPOs were withdrawn in Q1'12, demonstrating that the IPO market is still impacted by uncertainty in the global economy.
  • Comment:This quarter's largest IPO, a PE-backed company, is a great example of how PE firms can build great businesses that are attractive to investors, even in difficult markets.

Europe and Asia

  • The largest Q1 2012 PE-backed IPO by capital raised was the Dutch cable operator Ziggo, which listed on NYSE Euronext Amsterdam for US$1.1b. This was the largest PE-backed IPO observed on a European market in the last 18 months which could be a sign of renewed confidence in European equity markets.
  • Asia-Pacific continued to experience a decline in PE-backed IPO activity with only seven IPOs raising US$415m.


  • 72% of global PE-backed IPO proceeds were raised by US companies. US listings were a primary driver in Q1 PE-backed IPO activity with 27 deals raising US$4.4b.
  • The second largest PE-backed IPO in Q1 globally was US-based Allison Transmission Holdings Inc. (US$690.3m on NYSE); followed by Vantiv Inc. (US$575m on NYSE). Together they accounted for 21% of capital raised.
  • Comment: Jeff Bunder, Global Private Equity Leader at EY:
    The proportion of IPOs of private equity-backed companies increased considerably this quarter. In the US, six of the quarter's 10 largest IPOs represented PE-backed companies.
  • Oaktree Capital Group, the US-based distressed debt investor is expected to raise as much as US$517.5m in an IPO, joining The Carlyle Group in pursuing an IPO in the coming months.

    PE backed value

  • Outlook, “As PE firms' portfolio is ageing rapidly, we expect PE to be a significant IPO player again by the end of the year.”


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