The mid to late 90’s represented a peak for public company listings, with a general downward trend forming following the tech-bubble. Not only is the overall trend on the decline, but in 14 of the 15 years under review, de-registrations have exceeded the number of registrations.
The sentiment surrounding IPOs is a lack of urgency to go public due to the availability of private capital and cheap debt, as well as the need for a strong valuation to garner the best IPO. Similarly, the availability of debt and the prevalence of private venture capital fuel M&A activity.
The steady fall in companies raises an existential question: will there ever be too few public companies for a robust market?