NEW YORK, Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Deal, TheStreet's (NASDAQ:TST) institutional business, has issued a quarterly report that shows the small-cap equity financing market surged in the fourth quarter of 2013 with a near doubling in the number of initial public offerings (IPOs) and double-digit growth in follow-on offerings and private investments in public equity (PIPEs), compared to the same period of 2012, as the broader equity markets touched new records. Special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) completed four IPOs in the fourth quarter, unchanged from the year-earlier period, although the size of deals was larger.
"Investor sentiment has improved along with the economy and has boosted the market for IPOs, follow-ons, and PIPEs," said Dan Lonkevich, Senior Editor for The Deal. "Given a steady market rise through the entirety of 2013, we have high hopes for the coming year, barring any unexpected changes to the current dynamic."
Some highlights from the report include:
- The number of PIPEs in the fourth quarter of 2013 rose more than 25% to 316 transactions, with the biggest gains coming from smaller unregistered deals. The fourth quarter's 316 PIPEs raised $12.9 billion, compared with 252 deals that raised $12.4 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to PrivateRaise, The Deal's data service that tracks private placements of at least $1 million.
- For all of 2013, the number of U.S.-listed IPOs gained 58% to 230 deals worth $61.8 billion from 145 deals worth $47.2 billion in 2012. The number of follow-on offerings rose 32.5% to 807 deals worth $201.7 billion compared to 609 deals worth $187 billion in 2012.
- It was the best year for PIPEs since 2010 when 1,137 deals raised $31 billion. The number of unregistered PIPEs increased 29.4% to 220 deals worth $6.58 billion in the fourth quarter from 170 deals worth $7.57 billion a year earlier.
- During the fourth quarter, the average deal size was $34.6 million, compared with $39.55 million, a year earlier.
- Healthcare companies announced 107 deals worth $2.2 billion in the fourth quarter. Technology was the second-most-active sector with 51 PIPEs worth $3.38 billion. Energy companies did 46 deals worth $3.86 billion.
- Four SPACs completed IPOs in the fourth quarter, raising a combined $364 million, compared with four that raised only $205 million, a year earlier. At least two SPACs filed for IPOs in the fourth quarter, including Levy Acquisition. At least three SPACs announced business combinations or acquisitions in the fourth quarter, while another scrapped a planned merger.
- Reverse mergers were the only down segment of the small-cap financing market as private companies found it relatively easier to complete IPOs than in the past, thanks to the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, which allowed companies to file confidentially for IPOs and avoid cumbersome disclosure requirements. The pace of reverse mergers in the last quarter of 2013 was off 36% from the previous quarter, and about 29% year-over-year, according to data from PrivateRaise.