Small Companies Seeking Mergers, Not IPOs

Almost no CEOs of emerging companies are planning to take them public, according to a survey by Foley & Lardner, and over 80% predict a stagnant IPO market for the next two years.

(The law firm surveyed 230 people who either attended its bicoastal Emerging Technologies Conference in September or answered its invitation to be surveyed on Twitter).

Not only are more executives planning to sell their companies, but more are accelerating the timing of a sale, a move that the firm attributes to their need for “survival capital.”

Strategic buyers are more active than they’ve been at any time in the past five years, a majority said, and their business plans are influenced by strategic buyers.

The survey also found a dramatic increase in the number of investors who are walking away from raising new funds — 44%, compared to only 5% in 2006, which Foley said signals “a fundamental shift” in venture capital.

The full survey is below, or there’s a link here:

Emerging Companies 2009 Survey Results Report FINAL