The first two months of 2004 have brought with them more tech companies looking for venture capital, and more venture capitalists looking to invest, than any time since the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, according to anecdotal evidence from venture capitalists. “The market is blistering hot,” said Bruce Huber, managing director at mergers and acquisitions (M&A) advisor Broadview, speaking at the UK Technology Partnering and Investment Forum in London on Tuesday: “I can’t recall when we have been so busy. We are seeing an enormous amount of activity.” Ulrich Kenny, partner of corporate finance house Ion Equity, agreed with Huber’s temperature-taking, but said investors’ old exit strategy of the IPO — which allowed many people to make money on hot stocks in the late 90s — is not longer as viable as it was. “The IPO window is still pretty fragile and not really open for many tech companies,” he said. The consensus of opinion at the conference was that mergers and acquisitions are much more likely to be used as exit strategies by investors, indicating consolidation among small and innovative IT vendors. According to Peter Rowell of technology investment bank Regent Associates, there were only 20 tech IPOs in… Read full this story
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