About 460 companies were bought for $46.4 billion last year, down 13% from 2010, but the deals were valued 30% higher, compared with the $35.6 billion spent in 2010, according to a Dow Jones VentureSource report.
The median price vaulted 77% to $71 million in 2011. Funding rounds were down 12%, to an average of $17 million raised before exit, reflecting lower start-up costs.
"Acquisitions of companies liquidating their assets were halved in 2011 and companies are benefiting from lower start-up costs by taking capital farther toward a larger acquisition," noted Jessica Canning, global research director for VentureSource, in prepared remarks.
As for initial public offerings, the median amount raised rose 17% to $85 million last year and the median time it took to reach an IPO fell to 6.5 years from 8.1 years. There was 1 more IPO in 2011 than in 2010, but the total amount investors pumped into the 45 newly public companies reached $5.4 billion – a 63% increase over 2010. That’s largely due to a pair of blockbuster IPOs by Groupon (NSDQ:GRPN) and Zynga (NSDQ:ZNGA), which together pulled in $1.7 billion.
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