Top 5 PE & VC Deals, Exits And Funds: 2015 In Review by PitchBook
Bigger isn’t always better, but 2015 has seen some eye-popping numbers across the global private equity and venture capital landscapes.
As our 2015 Year in Review continues, today we rank some of the largest deals, exits and funds to close over the past year. Coming up, we’ll cover IPO winners and losers, break down mega-mergers in the M&A world, and unveil a series of “can’t miss” datagraphics summarizing big-picture trends.
You can follow our ongoing 2015 in Review coverage by clicking here.
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Without further ado, here are five of the biggest PE & VC deals, exits and funds of the year:
- Kraft Foods Group: $55 billion PE-backed merger in July
In a deal backed by 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway, H.J. Heinz Company and Kraft Foods Group (NASDAQ: KRFT) merged to create The Kraft Heinz Company, forming the third-largest food & beverage company in North America. The combined company now trades under the KHC ticker.
- Safeway: $9 billion public-to-private buyout in January
The grocery retailer was taken private by competitor Albertsons, a portfolio company of Cerberus Capital Management, after getting U.S. FTC clearance nearly a year after an agreement was announced in March 2014.
- PetSmart: $8.7 billion public-to-private buyout in March
A BC Partners-led investor group won the right to purchase the company after bidding against, among others, a consortium that included KKR and Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Other backers in the deal included La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, StepStone Group and Longview Asset Management.
- Home Properties: $7.6 billion public-to-private buyout in October
2015 saw some big transactions involving real estate investment trusts, including this purchase by Lone Star Funds of a company that owns, operates, acquires and repositions apartment communities in suburbs of major metropolitan areas, primarily along the U.S. East Coast.
- Homeplus: £4.2 billion buyout in October
The South Korean business of retail giant Tesco was acquired following a competitive bidding process by an MBK Partners-led group that also featured CPPIB, Public Sector Pension Investment Board and Temasek.
- Didi Kuaidi: $3 billion late-stage financing in September at a reported $16.5 billion valuation
The record round involved an additional $1 billion raise after $2 billion had been collected over the summer. The company is Uber’s top rival in China and the combination of two taxi-hailing services that had each raised nearly $1 billion in private funding.
- Uber: $1.6 billion late-stage financing in February at a $42.8 billion valuation
Uber raised multiple $1 billion+ fundings in 2015 and could’ve taken multiple spots on this list. The company is reportedly in the process of raising a $2.1 billion round at a valuation of more than $60 billion.
- Airbnb: $1.6 billion late-stage financing in November at a $25.5 billion valuation
Following a round led by General Atlantic, Hillhouse Capital and Tiger Global Management, Airbnb became one of the top five highest-valued private companies in the world.
- SoFi: $1 billion Series E round in August at a $3.6 billion valuation
SoFi raised over $1.2 billion during the year, including a $213 million Series D in February that valued it at $1.5 billion. The latest round was led by SoftBank, with participation from Baseline Ventures, DCM Ventures, Institutional Ventures Partners and others.
- Dianping.com: $850 million late-stage financing in March at a reported $4.05 billion valuation
The financing included investment from Temasek and FountainVest Partners, among others. Dianping.com has since merged with Meituan to create a company valued at $15 billion.
- Biomet: $9.3 billion corporate acquisition in June
Zimmer Holdings (NYSE/SIX: ZMH) acquired the medical devices company from firms including Blackstone, KKR, TPG and Goldman Sachs in a cash-and-equity transaction that, when including assumed liabilities, was more in the $14 billion-$15 billion range. Zimmer Biomet now trades under the ZBH ticker.
- IndCor Properties: $8.1 billion acquisition in February
In another big REIT-related deal, Blackstone sold the industrial real estate platform to Global Logistics Properties (SGX: MC0) and affiliates of GIC, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund.
- Par Pharmaceutical Companies: $8.05 billion corporate acquisition in September
The healthcare sector saw another big PE exit when TPG sold the generic pharmaceuticals platform it had taken private in 2012 for about $1.9 billion. The acquirer was Endo (NASDAQ: ENDP).
- Big Heart Pet Brands:$6 billion corporate acquisition in March
The pet food company, backed by KKR and several other PE investors, was sold to The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE: SJM) in a cash-and-stock transaction. KKR, Vestar Capital Partners and Centerview Capital took the company private for roughly $5.3 billion in 2011, when it was known as Del Monte Foods.
- Interactive Data: $5.2 billion corporate acquisition in December
Silver Lake and Warburg Pincus sold the provider of financial market data, analytics and related trading solutions to Intercontinental Exchange Group (NYSE: ICE), a global network of exchanges and clearing houses.
- Cardioxyl Pharmaceuticals: $2.07 billion corporate acquisition in December
The biotech was acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) from former venture backers including New Enterprise Associates, OrbiMed, Aurora Funds and Osage University Partners. The company had raised a $28 million Series B round in 2012 at a valuation of over $50 million.
- Dezima Pharma: €1.4 billion corporate acquisition in October
VC backers Forbion Capital Partners, BioGeneration Ventures and New Science Ventures sold the Dutch company to Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN).
- lynda.com: $1.5 billion corporate acquisition in May
Prior to its purchase by LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), Lynda had raised $289 million in venture funding and received a valuation of $831 million with a $186 million round in January. Sellers included Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity, TPG and Meritech Capital Partners.
- Flexus Biosciences: $1.3 billion corporate acquisition in April
Founded in 2013, Flexus had raised just $38 million in funding before being acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY). In late 2014, the company had received $25 million in a Series B round that valued it at over $57 million.
- Fitbit: $731.5 million IPO in June
Fitbit landed 2015’s largest VC-backed IPO after pricing its shares at $20; the company’s stock, trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol FIT, closed Tuesday at $28.66—up from its IPO price but down considerably from its high of $51.90 in early August. For more on Fitbit’s IPO, click here.
- Blackstone Capital Partners VII: closed on $18 billion in December
Fundraising began in November 2014 and the fund had a record $15.7 billion first close in May. Included in pool of capital is a $500 million GP commitment.
- Warburg Pincus Private Equity XII: closed on $12 billion in November
Launched in May, Warburg Pincus XII needed just a matter of months to reach its $12 billion hard cap, culminating with a single close.
- Lexington Capital Partners VIII: closed on $10.1 billion in April
The fund, which commenced investing in 2014, is the largest dedicated secondary acquisition fund ever raised.
- EQT VII: closed on €6.75 billion in July
The largest PE fund to close in Europe was significantly oversubscribed and will focus primarily on the continent’s northern region.
- EnCap Energy Capital Fund X: closed on $6.5 billion in April
Leading a big fundraising year for energy-focused vehicles, Fund X focuses primarily on the upstream sector of the North American oil & gas industry.
- New Enterprise Associates 15: closed on $2.8 billion in April
The vehicle is one of the largest VC funds raised ever, and when including the NEA 15 Opportunity Fund that was raised alongside, the pool totals $3.15 billion.
- Tiger Global Private Investment Partners X: closed on $2.5 billion in November
The hedge fund crossover investor has become one of the most prominent investors in India, though it participates in deals globally. Fund X makes it two years in a row that Tiger Global has closed a fund on $2.5 billion.
- DST Global V: closed on $1.7 billion in July
The vehicle is the fifth for the firm started by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner, and its largest to date. The firm has focused many of its investments on international internet companies.
- Bessemer Venture Partners IX: closed on $1.6 billion in February
Backing companies from the seed stage to growth stage, BVP investments typically range from $100,000 to $75 million; Fund IX is the firm’s second $1.6 billion vehicle.
- Institutional Venture Partners XV: closed on $1.4 billion in April
IVP XV will invest between $10 million and $100 million in 12 to 15 late-stage companies each year. It marked the largest vehicle in the firm’s 35-year history.