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Venture-Backed IPO Volume Plummeted In Q3 2006


Acquisitions Also Slowed Considerably According to Exit Poll Release

NEW YORK, NY, 10/03/2006 - Only eight venture-backed companies raised $934.2 million through Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) in the third quarter of 2006 reflecting the slowest quarter since 2003, according to the Exit Poll report by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association. (NVCA). This figure represents a significant decrease from the second quarter of 2006 when nineteen venture-backed companies went public and raised more than $2 billion. The results continue to disappoint when comparing the statistics to the same period last year, when nineteen venture-backed companies went public and raised nearly $1.5 billion. Venture-backed acquisitions reported in the quarter also fell in volume with 74 companies acquired for a disclosed value of $2.7 billion.

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“The venture-backed IPO volume has fallen to alarmingly low levels, suggesting that the public markets are not the destination they once were for emerging growth companies,” said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. “The few companies that are going public today are doing so successfully, which should be encouraging to those in and considering registration. However, the IPO path remains risky and expensive from a regulatory and market perspective, and currently there are not enough companies pursuing this exit strategy to keep the US economy humming.”

IPO Activity Highlights

The largest IPO of the third quarter was the $270 million offering from Mindray Medical International Limited. Based in Shenzen China, the medical equipment manufacturer priced 20 million ADR’s (American Depository Receipts) at $13.5 a share. Backed by Goldman Sachs, Mindray also posted the largest first day gains of any venture-backed company that went public during the quarter, jumping 30% to close at $17.55 a share.

All industry categories experienced steep declines in volume. The perennial sector leader, Technology raised $480 million in public offerings, followed closely by the Life Sciences industry which captured $359 million. The Non-High-Technology sector priced one IPO that accounted for $95 million.

While the overall volume levels were dismal, the performance of the third quarter offerings were encouraging. As of September 29, 2006, seven of the eight venture-backed companies that priced in the quarter were trading over their initial offering price. For the rolling 12month period, 58% of the venture-backed companies that went public are currently trading above their offering price. The statistics also revealed that the average offering size as well as the average post-offering values were at their highest levels since the third quarter of 2004.

In addition to the IPOs completed this quarter, there are currently 51 venture-backed companies “in registration” with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission. These companies have filed with the SEC in 2005 or 2006 and are now preparing for their initial public offerings. This compares favorably to the 41 companies in registration at the end of the second quarter of 2006.

Merger and Acquisition Overview

The third quarter continued the trend of the previous quarter in which acquisition volume declined. The average disclosed deal size was $81.1 million, a slight decrease from second quarter’s average, but in line with the average deal size for third quarter 2005. Median deal size remained strong in the third quarter, with a median disclosed value of $60.0 million. This compares to a median disclosed deal size of $56.0 million in the first quarter, and $48.1 million in the second quarter 2006.

“We hope that the lower acquisition volume is a quarterly aberration and reflective of a slower summer business climate,” Heesen remarked. “We would like to see the number of transactions increase 15-20% next quarter as investors cannot enjoy the quality rates of return if the two major paths to liquidity are not open to them.”

The Technology sector continued to dominate the venture-backed M&A landscape with 52 deals and a disclosed value of $1.6 billion. Within Technology, the Computer Software sector had 17 transactions, followed by the Internet Specific sector with 13 deals. Fifteen Life Sciences companies were acquired in the third quarter with a disclosed deal value of $802.7 million.

The largest disclosed deal of the quarter was the $365 million acquisition of Corus Pharma, Inc., a company that develops therapeutics to treat severe respiratory diseases, by Gilead Sciences, Inc. The second largest deal was R2 Technology, which develops analytical software aids for mammographic screening, being acquired by Hologic, Inc. for 237.1 million.

Acquisitions which returned more than 10x the amount of the original venture investment comprised 21% of the disclosed transactions for the quarter. At the opposite end of the spectrum, 38% of the disclosed acquisition deals returned less than the total venture investment. An equal percentage of deals – 38% returned 1-4x investment for the quarter. .

About Thomson Financial

Thomson Financial, with 2005 revenues of US$1.9 billion, is a provider of information and technology solutions to the worldwide financial community. Through the widest range of products and services in the industry, Thomson Financial helps clients in more than 70 countries make better decisions, be more productive and achieve superior results. Thomson Financial is part of The Thomson Corporation (, a global leader in providing integrated information solutions to more than 20 million business and professional customers in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, higher education, reference information, corporate e-learning and assessment, scientific research and healthcare. With revenues of US$8.50 billion, The Thomson Corporation lists its common shares on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges (NYSE: TOC; TSX: TOC).

The National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) represents approximately 480 venture capital and private equity firms. NVCA’s mission is to foster greater understanding of the importance of venture capital to the U.S. economy, and support entrepreneurial activity and innovation. According to a 2004 Global Insight study, venture-backed companies accounted for 10.1 million jobs and $1.8 trillion in revenue in the United States in 2003. The NVCA represents the public policy interests of the venture capital community, strives to maintain high professional standards, provides reliable industry data, sponsors professional development, and facilitates interaction among its members. For more information about the NVCA, please visit


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