On aggregate, private equity-backed companies raised $13.5bn in 20 transactions in the first three months of the year, compared to $7.2bn in 27 deals in the same period in 2010.
The general IPO market was down 13 per cent for the same period last year due to continuing upheaval in the Middle East and the tsunami and earthquake in Japan.
While new entrants are still uncertain about issuing equity in the public markets, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Bain Capital raised $4.4bn from US hospital operator HCA Holdings last month – the largest private equity-backed IPO on record.
“In the absence of additional economic shocks, conditions appear to be ripe for one of the most active years on record,” said Jeffrey Bunder, global private equity leader at Ernst & Young.
Private equity was not completely unconcerned by world events, with eight sponsored companies shelving their IPOs in the first quarter. Four of these cited the events in Japan for the decision to pull the floats.
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