Venture-Backed Exits Decline Significantly in First Quarter 2008

Venture-Backed Exits Decline Significantly in First Quarter 2008

IPOs At Lowest Volume Level Since 2003; Acquisitions at Lowest Volume in Decade

NEW YORK, April 1, 2008 -- Only five venture-backed initial public offerings totaling $282.7 billion in proceeds were issued in the first quarter of 2008, according to the Exit Poll report by Thomson Financial and the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). This volume represents the lowest quarterly number of IPO's since the second quarter of 2003 when there were two issues. Similarly, the venture-backed M&A market had only 56 deals in the fourth quarter, 20 of which had a combined disclosed value totaling $2.5 billion. The acquisitions volume represented one of the lowest quarterly levels in the past decade.

"U.S. economic uncertainty clearly impacted the venture backed IPO market in the first quarter," said Mark Heesen, president of the NVCA. "It was not a great start to the year by any measure and we will need to see a significant increase in volume in the remaining three quarters to salvage the rest of the year. And while the acquisitions market is also showing lower volumes, the quality of the both exits - both IPO's and acquisitions - appears to be holding up, which should translate into some much needed confidence for venture backed companies looking to exit in 2008."

    Venture-Backed Liquidity Events by Year/Quarter, 2001-2008ytd

                     M&A Deals  *Total                       Total     Average
              Total  with      Disclosed  *Average           Offer   IPO Offer
    Quarter/  M&A    Disclosed M&A Value  M&A Deal **Number  Amount     Amount
    Year      Deals  Values     ($M)      Size($M) of IPO's   ($M)       ($M)

    2002        318        152   7,916.4    52.1      22     2,109.1      95.9
    2003        290        122   7,721.1    63.3      29     2,022.7      69.8
    2004        339        186  15,440.6    83.0      93    11,014.9     118.4
    2005-1       81         46   4,364.9    94.9      10       720.7      72.1
    2005-2       80         36   4,791.0   133.1      10       714.1      71.4
    2005-3       98         47   4,374.8    93.1      19     1,458.1      76.7
    2005-4       87         39   2,563.7    65.7      17     1,568.1      92.2
    2005        346        168  16,094.4    95.8      56     4,461.0      79.7
    2006-1      104         49   5,446.4   111.2      10       540.8      54.1
    2006-2      104         39   3,935.6   100.9      19     2,011.0     105.8
    2006-3       94         42   3,894.8    92.7       8       934.2     116.8
    2006-4       61         25   3,866.8   154.7      20     1,631.1      81.6
    2006        363        155  17,143.5   110.6      57     5,117.1      89.8
    2007-1       82         29   4,540.3   156.6      18     2,190.6     121.7
    2007-2       85         35   3,882.3   110.9      25     4,146.8     165.9
    2007-3       97         50  10,530.3   210.6      12       945.2      78.8
    2007-4       83         40   8,370.4   209.3      31     3,043.8      98.2
    2007        347        154  27,323.3   177.4      86    10,326.3     464.5
    2008-1       56         20   2,491.9   124.6       5       282.7      56.6
    2008         56         20   2,491.1   124.6       5       282.7      56.6

    Thomson Financial & National Venture Capital Association
    * Only accounts for deals with disclosed values
    **Includes all companies with at least one U.S. VC investor that trade on
      U.S. exchanges, regardless of domicile.

IPO Activity Overview

The Life Sciences sector saw the majority of venture-backed companies come to market with four IPO's raising $221 million during the first quarter. Until this quarter, Life Sciences IPO issues have not accounted for the majority of issues brought to market since the first quarter of 2006. The largest Life Sciences IPO exit of the quarter was the $83 million issue by the California based IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., which provides, manages, and coordinates care of hospitalized patients. Venture investors in the company include Scale Venture Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, CB Health Ventures, and Crucible Group, a non-venture investor.

There was one Information Technology (IT) IPO in the first quarter of 2008. This offering, valued at $61.8 million, was issued by ArcSight, Inc, a security management solutions provider located in California. Venture investors in ArcSight included Institutional Venture Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Integral Capital Partners, In-Q-Tel, Inc., Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), and other undisclosed investors.

    Venture-Backed IPO Industry Breakdown
                                                        Q1 2008
                                            *Number of            Total
                                           Venture-Backed    Venture-Backed
                                          IPO's in the U.S. Offering Size ($M)


    Information     Computer Software and Services  1                61.8
     Technology     TOTAL                           1                61.8

                    Medical/Health                  3               215.2
                    Biotechnology                   1                 5.8
    Life Sciences   TOTAL                           4               221.0
                                      TOTAL         5               282.7

    *Includes all companies with at least one U.S. VC investor that trade on
     U.S. exchanges, regardless of domicile

Geographically, first quarters' issues came from companies located in California and Florida. While California is globally recognized as the most active region for venture-backed start-ups, two IPO exits from Florida-based companies in one quarter has not occurred since the fourth quarter of 2005.

There were no foreign IPOs on US exchanges in the first quarter, the first time since the third quarter of 2000.

    1Q 2008 Venture-Backed IPO State Breakdown

                                   *Number of
    Metro Region                 IPO's in the U.S.

    California                       3
    Florida                          2
    TOTAL                            5

    *Includes all companies with at least one U.S. VC investor that trade on
     U.S. exchanges, regardless of domicile

As of March 28, 2008, 28% percent of the venture-backed companies that went public during the previous 12-month period were trading at or above their offering price.

Thirty-seven venture-backed companies have filed for an initial public offering with the SEC since 2007 and are currently "in registration." This marks a significant decrease from the previous quarter when 60 venture-backed companies were in registration.

Merger and Acquisition Overview

In the first quarter of 2008, 56 venture-backed M&A deals were completed, 20 which had an aggregate deal value of $2.5 billion. The average disclosed deal value for the quarter was $124.6 million.

The Information Technology sector dominated the venture-backed M&A landscape, with 41 deals and a disclosed total dollar value of approximately $2.0 billion. Within this sector, Internet Specific companies accounted for the bulk of the target companies, with $1.7 billion in issuance across this sector subset. Non-High Technology saw the next highest disclosed dollar volume at $266.2 million. Finally, Life Sciences deals accounted for $229.3 million of M&A exits.

Venture-Backed M&A Industry Breakdown
                                                        Q1 2008

                                                        Number of     Total
                                                        Venture-    Disclosed
                                            Number of   Backed M&A   Venture-
                                            Venture-    deals with    Backed
                                            Backed M&A  disclosed   Deal Value
                       Industry               deals       value        ($M)

                  Communications and Media         6         2            90.0
                  Internet Specific               12         8          1678.7
                  Computer Software and Services  16         2            43.0
                  Semiconductors/Other Elect.      4         3           184.8
    Information   Computer Hardware                3         0             0.0
     Technology   TOTAL                           41        15         1,996.4

                  Biotechnology                    1         1            12.0
                  Medical/Health                   4         2           217.3
    Life Sciences TOTAL                            5         3           229.3

                  Other Products                   4         1           247.0
                  Consumer Related                 3         1            19.2
                  Industrial/Energy                3         0             0.0
    Other         TOTAL                           10         2           266.2
                            TOTAL                 56        20         2,491.9
    Source: Thomson Financial & National Venture Capital Association

The largest disclosed deal of the quarter was the $1.4 billion acquisition of EqualLogic, Inc, a developer of storage area network solutions, by Dell, Inc. in January.

Deals bringing in the top returns, those with disclosed values greater than four times the venture investment, accounted for 50 percent of the total compared to 46 percent last quarter. Those deals returning less than the amount invested accounted for 39 percent of the quarter's total, up from 17 percent of the total last quarter.

    Analysis of Transaction Values versus Amount Invested
                                                                  Q407   Q108
    Relationship between transaction value and investment         M&A**  M&A**
    Deals where transaction value is less than total venture
     investment                                                       6      7
    Deals where transaction value is 1-4x total venture investment   13      2
    Deals where transaction value is 4x-10x total venture investment  8      6
    Deals where transaction value is greater than 10x venture
     investment                                                       8      3
    Total Disclosed Deals                                            35     18

    Source: Thomson Financial & National Venture Capital Association

    ** Disclosed deals that do not have a disclosed total investment amount
       are not included.


About Thomson Financial

Thomson Financial, with 2006 revenues of US$2 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 essential electronic workflow solutions to business and professional customers. With operational headquarters in Stamford, Conn., Thomson provides value-added information, software tools and applications to professionals in the fields of law, tax, accounting, financial services, scientific research and healthcare. The Corporation's common shares are listed on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges .

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 2007 Global Insight study, venture-backed companies accounted for 10.4 million jobs and $2.3 trillion in revenue in the United States in 2006. 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