New York – Following three
quarters of sagging liquidity levels, U.S. venture-backed companies
staged a comeback in the private markets during the fourth quarter, according
to new figures from Dow Jones VentureSource.
During the quarter, 86 companies
were acquired for $7.3 billion, while three others raised $220 million through
initial public offerings (IPOs).
All told, 44% of the year’s total liquidity
was generated in the quarter.
"The fourth quarter has set the stage for an
active year in M&As in 2010," said Jessica Canning, the director of
global research for Dow Jones VentureSource.
"As the economy improves,
acquirers are gaining confidence in their own financial situation and returning
to strategic acquisitions. At the same time, the steady trickle of public offerings
is teasing investors who expect the IPO window will re-open in the coming