Globally, 290 private equity-backed exits were announced with an aggregate exit value of $47bn in Q1 2013. This represents a decline from the previous quarter in both the number and aggregate value of exits by 12% and 39%, respectively in comparison to 329 exits valued at $77bn in Q4 2012.
Two of the most notable private-equity backed exits during the initial quarter of 2013 include the announcement of Clayton Dubilier & Rice and Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division exiting their investment in AssuraMed to Cardinal Health for $2.07bn and Dollar General’s further follow-on share offering of 30 million shares sold for a total value of approximately $1.52bn.
Interestingly, the only region to weather the global exit decline during Q1 2013 was Asia, which witnessed a 77% increase in the number of exits and a 50% increase in the aggregate exit value in comparison to Q4 2012. In stark contrast, North America saw the largest proportionate decrease of any region, in relation to both the number and value of exits in Q1 2013 compared to Q4 2012. Of the 290 exits that took place in Q1 2013, 46% of these took place in North America, whereas in the preceding quarter North America accounted for 56% of global exits.
There was a noticeable uptick in the number of private equity-backed IPOs and follow-on share sales in Q1 2013, with IPO activity last showing similar strength in Q2 2011. The number of buyout-backed public offerings has increased by 74% from the previous quarter with 61 IPOs and follow-ons taking place in Q1 2013, which is perhaps an indicator of an increase in positive sentiment towards this exit type. In the wake of an increase in IPOs during the quarter, there was a 38% decrease in the number of secondary buyouts that took place. With secondary buyouts often a preferred exit type in difficult exit market conditions, the decrease in the number of secondary buyouts coupled with the uptick in IPO activity in Q1 2013 could be an early sign of the returning strength of the both the stock market and investor sentiment.