There were 58 completed midmarket private equity transactions in the fourth quarter of 2010, the most in the past eight quarters, according to GF Data Resources, a middle-market private equity research firm.
For the calendar year, the firm tallied a total of 147 deals.
In 2009, GF Data reported 26 midmarket deals in the fourth quarter and 81 for the full year. GF Data defines middle market as transactions with enterprise values of $10 million to 250 million.
Much of the deals last year were concluded in the second half of the year, with 100 deals in the last six months of 2010, up from 46 in the second half of 2009.
The average price of the transactions closed in the fourth quarter was 6.1 times the trailing 12 months adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. That’s the same valuation as the third quarter and up from 5.4 times EBITDA in the fourth quarter of 2009.
The report is based on data from 155 private equity firms and a database of 1,104 transactions closed between Jan. 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2010.