Billion dollar buyouts may have slowed since 2006, but billion dollar exits from U.S.- or Canada-headquartered companies have picked up recently. Private equity investors completed more $1 billion+ exits in 2012 than in any year going back to 2006, according to the PitchBook Platform. Last year's 46 $1 billion+ exits almost matched 2010 and 2011 combined (and 2010's 28 exits was quadruple 2009's output of seven). 2013 should mark another healthy year for mega-exits, with 22 already completed year-to-date.
Much of 2012's success was attributable to the looming prospect of an increase in capital gains taxes. Not to mention a sizable inventory of portfolio companies.
By exit type, thanks to cash-fat corporations, corporate acquisitions have been the most popular exit route during the timeframe, accounting for two-thirds of the completed billion-dollar exits. Secondary buyouts were responsible for 28% and IPOs 5%.