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Data spotlight: M&A deal volume drops in October

October was a slow period for venture-backed M&A transaction, following a robust third quarter for deal activity.

In October, there were 21 VC-backed, U.S.-based companies acquired, including eight with disclosed prices that combined totaled $906.5 million, according to a VCJ analysis of the data from Thomson Reuters. That’s down from the month before when 31 companies were acquired for nearly $3 billion.

The top deal with a disclosed value in October was AqueSys Inc, which was acquired by Allergan PLC for $300 million. Second largest was Ibiquity Digital Corp, which sold to DTS Inc for $172 million.

Year-to-date, through the end of October, 281 acquisitions have taken place of VC-backed companies for a combined deal value of nearly $15.2 billion. The M&A activity remains way off the bonanza that was 2014, which included the multi-billion sales of WhatsApp, Nest Labs and Oculus VR. In the first 10 months of 2014, 394 venture-backed companies were acquired for a combined total of $45.8 billion. Even after removing the top three acquisitions of WhatsApp, Nest and Oculus, the combined value of deals last year exceeds $20 billion through the end of October.

Other notable stats from the list of M&A deals in October:

  • Intel Capital, which was an investor in five companies that were scooped up in the third quarter, achieved more liquidity in October following the sales of Ibiquity.
  • New Enterprise Associates, Sierra Ventures and Pequot Capital Management each had two portfolio companies acquired.
  • Two companies acquired each raised more than $200 in equity prior to their exit: Ibiquity and Gridpoint.
  • Although four of the companies scooped up were in biotech and three were in the security sector, the rest came from various industries, including those focused on ad tech, energy, lithium-ion batteries, hair care, fintech, mechanical construction and rentals of mobile homes.
  • California remains a popular destination for acquired companies, with seven coming from the Golden State, followed by Massachusetts with three and Michigan and North Carolina with two each.
  • The average purchase price of the eight companies with a disclosed price during the month was $113 million.
  • The average age of the companies at the time they were purchased was 7.5 years.

To download an Excel file with a complete list of deals from the quarter: Venture-backed M&A, October 2015

Photo illustration of down arrow courtesy of Shutterstock.