How do you steady the course of your IPO journey in a changing landscape?

By George Chan

EY Global IPO Leader; EY Greater China Assurance COO

Passionate about helping clients excel in this transformative age. Keen reader. Movie fan.

4 minute read 27 Mar 2024

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Q1 2024: major shift in global IPO market share from the past five years.

In brief
  • In Q1 2024, global IPO volumes fell 7%, but proceeds were up 7% year-over-year (YOY).
  • An improvement in valuations and pricing levels reflects growing confidence among both issuers and investors.
  • Momentum is building for private equity (PE)-backed IPO exits in 2024, with Q1 2024 average deal size up 26% from 2023.

The year kicked off on a cautiously optimistic note, marked by a selective thaw following a period of dormancy. The Americas and EMEIA IPO markets had a bright start in 2024, pushing global IPO proceeds up by 7%. However, the global IPO activity by number continued to display a 7% YOY decline, weighed down by the usually energetic Asia-Pacific region. For Q1 2024, the global IPO market saw 287 deals raising US$23.7b. These and other findings are available in the EY Global IPO Trends Q1 2024, a quarterly report analyzing global IPO data to determine market trends and outlook for the year ahead.

  • Methodology

    EY teams analyzed IPO data for 2024 (up to 18 March) to identify key IPO market trends and the outlook for 2024. EY analysts utilized data provided by Dealogic, S&P Capital IQ, Mergermarket and PitchBook. The Dealogic data in this report are under license by ION. ION retains and reserves all rights in such data. SPAC data are excluded from all data in this report, except where indicated.

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    Column chart showing global IPO activity by IPO proceeds in US billions from 2020 - Q1 2024. Complete data is as follows: 2020: 271.3 billion US dollars; 2021: 459.9 billion US dollars; 2022: 184.3 billion US dollars; 2023: 126.1 billion US dollars; Q1 2024 23.7 billion US dollars.

Over the years, the IPO landscape has witnessed a shift in valuation expectations between buyers and sellers. On the one hand, sellers have lowered their expectations toward valuations as they come to terms with the reality of the market’s aptness to align value in a tight money environment. On the other hand, stock markets in some major economies are booming as investors are pricing in the potential reduction of interest rates. As the landscape evolves, there is an increasing hope for the valuation gap to narrow between buyers and sellers.

In Q1 2024, a majority of key IPO markets saw a significant number of newly listed companies’ current stock prices surpassing their offer prices. This trend could indicate an improvement in valuations and pricing levels, reflecting growing confidence among both issuers and investors. Japan has seen a notable increase thanks to its stock market providing a more conducive environment for IPOs. Both Europe and the Middle East have also experienced enhanced IPO returns. Meanwhile, the US, ASEAN and India have maintained a stable trend compared to the preceding quarter.

Industrials, consumer and technology sectors were the top three IPO sectors by number and demonstrated the most significant improvement in after-market performance compared to Q1 2023. Conversely, the financial sector witnessed a substantial decrease in the number of well-performing IPOs, primarily due to the lackluster performance of small-scale offerings from countries that either experienced stagnant or deteriorating post-IPO market conditions.

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    Dot chart showing the after-market performance by region of current share price above offer price. The data is displayed in percentages, comparing Q1 2023 IPOs to Q1 2024 IPOs. In the United States, Q1 2023 share prices were up thirty percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up thirty-eight percent. In Europe, Q1 2023 share prices were up sixty-three percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up eighty-eight percent. In the Middle East, Q1 2023 share prices were up fifty-five percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up seventy-one percent. In Mainland China, Q1 2023 share prices were up forty-three percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up eighty-nine percent. In Japan, Q1 2023 share prices were up fifty-nine percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up one hundred percent. In ASEAN, Q1 2023 share prices were up forty-five percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up forty-eight percent. In India, Q1 2023 share prices were up seventy percent over offer price, while in Q1 2024 they were up seventy-two percent.

An IPO is one of the pinnacles of achievement for PE firms, serving as a public showcase of their acumen and a defining milestone in their growth journey. Despite a downturn in IPO exits over the past two years, as dealmakers retreated from IPO transactions due to various macroeconomic and geopolitical factors, global IPOs have garnered on average over 40% higher EV/EBITDA multiples on IPO exits than strategic acquisitions or sponsor sales. With global inflation continuing to fall and central banks’ pivot toward interest rate reductions, the IPO-exit climate for 2024 seems poised to stabilize with two-thirds of PE firms predicting a rise in IPO-exit activity this year.

In Q1 2024, approximately 10 PE-backed IPOs came to the market, five of which were among the top ten global IPOs, a testament to their significant market presence. This prestigious group included Douglas AG from Germany and Brightspring Health Services from the US. The median deal size of PE-backed IPOs in Q1 2024 surpassed those listed in Q1 2023 by 26%. Meanwhile, the median post-IPO valuation for PE-backed IPOs outpaced the valuations of both VC-backed and non-financial-backed IPOs by a substantial 2.5 times and a staggering 31 times, respectively. This outperformance, coupled with a projected rise of IPO exit activity by PE firms, indicates that the momentum for PE firms to capitalize on the IPO market is rapidly gaining traction in the early months of 2024.

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    A series of four charts related to the increased momentum around PE-backed IPO exits in 2024.
    The first chart shows the average EV/EBITDA multiples by deal type from 2022 to Q1 2024. Acquisitions deliver 10.8 times average EV/EBITDA. Buyouts deliver 14.1 times average EV-EBITDA. IPOs deliver 19.7 times average EV/EBITDA. A call-out box says that over forty percent higher multiples are generated from IPO exits versus other alternatives.
    The second chart shows the median deal size by IPO proceeds of PE-backed IPOs. In Q1 2023, the median deal size was four hundred and twenty-six million US dollars. In Q1 2024, the median deal size was five hundred and thirty-eight million US dollars. This shows more than a twenty six percent increase in median proceeds in Q1 2024 cohorts versus Q1 2023 IPOs.
    The third chart shows Q1 2024 median valuations of PE-backed, VC-backed and non-financial-backed IPOs. The median valuation of PE-backed IPOs in Q1 2024 was one billion, six hundred and fifteen million US dollars. The median valuation of VC-backed IPOs was four hundred and fifty-eight million US dollars. The median valuation of non-financial-backed IPOs was fifty million US dollars. An annotation on the graph says that PE-backed IPOs have a two-hundred and fifty-three percent higher median valuation than VA-backed IPOs in Q1 2024. 
    The fourth chart shows a pie chart indicating that two-thirds of PE firms anticipate a rise in IPO exits in 2024 according to survey findings. The question asked was “Looking into 2024, to what extent do you agree or disagree that IPO activity will contribute to a significant rise in exits.” Twenty three percent of respondents said that they strongly agree, forty-five percent responded that they somewhat agree, eleven percent were neutral, eighteen percent said they somewhat disagreed, and three percent strongly disagreed.

The artificial intelligence (AI) vertical is experiencing significant growth in the private realm, with the majority of AI and AI-associated businesses still in the seed or early stage of venture capital (VC) rounds. These companies, mostly from the US, cover a broad spectrum of sectors, not confined to technology but encompassing health and life sciences, consumer products and other sectors. The quantity of these companies in seed and early-stage VC rounds vastly exceeds those in the late stage of VC rounds or private equity phase, which exemplifies where AI and AI-related firms are developing within the private runways. It suggests potential for a wave of IPOs in future years as these companies reach maturity and seek to leverage public markets for further growth.

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Overall regional performance: Americas and EMEIA IPO markets recovering and Asia-Pacific market plunging

The global IPO market has experienced significant shifts in geographical composition, driven by ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical dynamics. 

The Americas continued to exhibit strong performance in IPO activity compared with both the previous quarter and Q1 2023, with 52 deals and US$8.4b in proceeds, up 21% and up a whopping 178%, respectively, YOY. Each of the top seven deals in Q1 2024 raised over US$500m, versus just one in Q1 2023. After experiencing a 20-year low in IPO proceeds in 2022, the US has finally witnessed a noticeable uptick in the first quarter of the year, riding on the wave of the market rally from last year. 

Driven by a subdued IPO market sentiment across the region, Asia-Pacific IPO activity in Q1 recorded 119 deals and US$5.8b in proceeds, down 34% and 56% YOY, respectively. This decline was especially sharp in Mainland China and Hong Kong, with the number of deals decreasing more than half and deal size falling by nearly two-thirds. Both markets have experienced a consistent decline in IPO activity over the past few years. Japan was the only market in Asia-Pacific to see a slight increase in deal count in the first quarter, with the Nikkei Index hitting an all-time high in February.

The EMEIA IPO market witnessed an impressive growth at the start of the year, launching 116 IPOs totaling $9.5b in the first quarter, up 40% and 58% YOY, respectively. This surge is attributed to larger average deal sizes from IPOs in Europe and India, which enabled EMEIA to maintain first place in global IPO market share by proceeds since Q4 2023. Since 2019, India has rapidly gained prominence, particularly in the number of IPOs, and has now emerged as a standout performer.

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    Column chart showing IPO activity by geography in Q1 2024, in terms of percentage change versus Q1 2023. The complete data per regions showing is as follows: Globally, the number of IPOs is down seven percent, with total IPO proceeds up seven percent. For the Americas, the number of IPOs is up twenty-one percent, with IPO proceeds up one-hundred and seventy-eight percent. For Asia-Pacific, the number of IPOs is down thirty-four percent, with IPO proceeds down fifty-six percent. For EMEIA, the total number of IPOs is up forty percent, with total IPO proceeds up fifty-eight percent.

Q2 2024 outlook: capitalizing on fleeting windows amid heightened uncertainties  

“As 2024 unfolds, participants in the IPO market are entering uncharted territory. IPO candidates are influenced by the recent pivot in investors' preference toward proven profitability in an altered interest rate landscape and are doing this while facing the intricate dynamics of an intensified geopolitical climate and the buzz around AI. To succeed in this shifting environment, IPO prospects must remain flexible and prepared to seize the right moment for their public debuts," says George Chan, EY Global IPO Leader.

The IPO market thus far in 2024 has shown signs of vigor, with an upswing in IPO activity. Despite the restrained overall market activity in previous years, there’s an uptick in enthusiasm from both IPO issuers and investors, hinting at shifting market dynamics and a more welcoming landscape for public listings.

The global economy will remain on a soft growth trajectory in 2024, with developed markets likely to see modest growth while emerging markets stay on a firmer growth path. Stock markets in various major economies are already pricing in the expectation of interest rate cuts.

Just as investors and IPO candidates adapt to the new norm of higher interest rates and reduced liquidity, they will also need to navigate through additional layers of complexity in the geopolitical and global election landscape in the IPO market. As elections amplify uncertainty, IPO candidates will need to closely monitor election outcomes and assess how specific policies could affect stakeholder interests and re-evaluate their IPO strategy and timing as necessary.

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  • Methodology

    EY teams analyzed IPO data for 2024 (up to 18 March) to identify key IPO market trends and the outlook for 2024. EY analysts utilized data provided by Dealogic, S&P Capital IQ, Mergermarket and PitchBook. The Dealogic data in this report are under license by ION. ION retains and reserves all rights in such data. SPAC data are excluded from all data in this report, except where indicated.

  • Data definitions for all charts

    The data presented on this webpage and in the EY Global IPO Trends Q1 2024 press release is sourced from Dealogic, S&P Capital IQ, Mergermarket, PitchBook and EY analysts unless otherwise noted. The Dealogic data are under license by ION. ION retains and reserves all rights in such data. SPAC data are excluded from all data in this report, except where indicated.   

    Q1 2024 refers to the first quarter of 2024 and covers completed IPOs from 1 January to 18 March 2024, plus expected IPOs by 31 March 2024 (forecasted as of 18 March 2024). Q1 2023 refers to the first quarter of 2023 and covers completed IPOs from 1 January to 31 March 2023. Full-year 2023 refers to the calendar year 2023 and covers completed IPOs from 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023.  

    • In compiling the IPO statistics included in these reports and press releases, we focus only on IPOs of operating companies and define an IPO as a "company's offering of equity to the public on a new stock exchange". 
    • This report includes only those IPOs for which Dealogic and EY teams offer data regarding the first trade date (the first day on which the security start trading on a stock exchange), and proceeds (funds raised, including any over-allotment sold).
    • The first trade date determines which quarter a deal is attributed to. Postponed IPOs, or those that have not yet been priced, are therefore excluded. Over-the-counter (OTC) listings are also excluded.
    • In an attempt to exclude non-operating company IPOs such as trusts, funds and special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), companies with the following Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes are excluded:
      • 6091: Financial companies that conduct trust, fiduciary and custody activities.
      • 6371: Asset management companies such as health and welfare funds, pension funds and their third-party administration as well as other financial vehicles.
      • 6722: Companies that are open-end investment funds.
      • 6726: Companies that are other financial vehicles.
      • 6732: Companies that are grant-making foundations.
      • 6733: Asset management companies that deal with trusts, estates and agency accounts.
      • 6799: Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs).
  • Definitions for IPO performance by geography

    • Africa includes Algeria, Botswana, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
    • Americas includes Argentina, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and the United States.
    • ASEAN includes Brunei, Cambodia, Guam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, North Mariana Islands, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.
    • Asia-Pacific includes ASEAN (listed above), Greater China (as stated below), Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
    • EMEIA includes Armenia, Austria, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Kazakhstan, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine and United Kingdom plus the Middle East countries (listed below) and Africa countries (listed above).
    • Greater China includes Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
    • India region includes IPO activity in Indian and Bangladesh stock exchanges.
    • Middle East includes Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
  • Definitions for IPO deals by sector and IPO proceeds by sector

    Sectors are classified according to Thomson general industries using a company’s Sector Industry Classification (SIC) code. There are 11 sectors, which are defined below with their specific industries. The 11 sectors are shown on the horizontal axis.

    • Consumer includes the combination of “Consumer staples” and “Consumer products and services” sectors. Its specific industries include: agriculture and livestock, food and beverage, household and personal products, textiles and apparel, tobacco, educational services, employment services, home furnishings, legal services, other consumer products, professional services, as well as travel services. 
    • Energy industries include alternative energy sources, oil and gas, other energy and power, petrochemicals, pipelines, power, as well as water and waste management.
    • Financials industries include asset management, banks, brokerage, credit institutions, diversified financials, government sponsored enterprises, insurance, as well as other financials.
    • Health and life sciences industries include biotechnology, health care equipment and supplies, health care providers and services (HMOs), hospitals, as well as pharmaceuticals.
    • Industrials industries include aerospace and defense, automobiles and components, building/construction and engineering, machinery, other industrials, transportation, as well as infrastructure.
    • Materials industries include chemicals, construction materials, containers and packaging, metals and mining, other materials, as well as paper and forest products.
    • Media and entertainment industries include advertising and marketing, broadcasting, cable, casino and gaming, hotels and lodging, motion pictures or audio visual, other media and entertainment, publishing, as well as recreation and leisure.
    • Real estate industries include non-residential, other real estate, real estate management and development, as well as residential.
    • Retail industries include apparel retailing, automotive retailing, computers and electronics retailing, discount and department store retailing, food and beverage retailing, home improvement retailing, internet and catalogue retailing, as well as other retailing.
    • Technology industries include computers and peripherals, electronics, internet software and services, IT consulting and services, other high technology, semiconductors, as well as software.
    • Telecommunications industries include other telecom, space and satellites, telecommunications equipment, telecommunications services, as well as wireless.

Previous IPO reports


The global IPO market has shifted in geographical composition, as a result of ongoing macroeconomic and geopolitical dynamics. There is improving alignment between buyers’ and sellers’ valuation expectations. Private equity-backed IPO exits are building in momentum. The growing AI vertical indicates a possible surge of IPOs in future years.

Companies considering an IPO in 2024 should focus on thorough preparation, considering factors like inflation, interest rates, elections, geopolitical tensions, AI implications and the ESG agenda. They need to show high-quality equity stories, demonstrate strong fundamentals and manage price expectations to prepare for fleeting IPO windows in 2024.

About this article

By George Chan

EY Global IPO Leader; EY Greater China Assurance COO

Passionate about helping clients excel in this transformative age. Keen reader. Movie fan.