VC-Backed M&A Spikes In Q4 2014 Paced By Facebook-Whatsapp Deal

By on January 7, 2015

stocksAcquisitions of venture-backed companies had the strongest quarter in Q4 2014 since the dot-com era, powered by Facebook’s $19.5 billion Whatsapp deal closing. Meanwhile, initial public offerings remained strong, notching an IPO record not seen since 2000, according to data released by NVCA and Thomson Reuters.

M&A

The fourth quarter of 2014 continued a hot streak for M&A, with the second largest quarter for venture backed M&A since 1994. The only other larger quarter was Q2 2000. Facebook’s $19.5 billion acquisition of Whatsapp (which closed in October) provided a major boost in the quarter. (Facebook also earlier in July purchased Oculus VR for $1.9 billion.) Johnson & Johnson made the second largest acquisition of the quarter, paying $1.8 billion for Alios BioPharma.

There were 95 M&A deals in Q4 2014, with 29 disclosed deal prices totaling $26.4 billion. That’s up 307% in dollars from Q3 2014 and 396% from the year-ago period. By number of deals, however, Q4 2014 was down from a busy Q3 2014 from 133 to 95, although it ticked up slighted from the year ago quarter of Q4 2013 from 93 to 95.

During 2014, there were 455 M&A deals, making 2014 the best year for VC-backed M&A since 2012.

Even without including Facebook’s massive Whatsapp deal, 2014 still totaled $26.5 billion in disclosed M&A dollars, which is up 57% from 2013 and the biggest year for US VC-backed M&A since 2007.

IPOs

There were 27 VC-backed IPOS generating $4.4 billion in Q4 2014, up 17% by deals and up 68% by dollars from Q3 2014. IPOs stayed hot in the fourth quarter of 2014, with the seventh straight quarter of 20 or more VC-backed IPOs, which hasn’t happened since the dot-com era in Q4 2000.

Life sciences made up 16 of the 27 deals in the quarter. Biotechnology in particular had a strong year, with 59 biotech deals in the full year 2014 – the strongest year for the sector since 1994. Twenty of the 27 companies to list in Q4 2014 are trading at or above their offering prices.

Sign up as a a buyer or seller on Exitround. Have a specific question? Send us an email. As always we’re happy to maintain your anonymity–just let us know in your request.

Leave a Reply