Learning From Atlanta Acquisitions in the Past 10 Years

In a few hours drive around Atlanta, there's been an exit over $50 million at a rate of almost one per month for the last decade. Take a look at which sectors and industries are creating the heartbeat.

One of Valor’s investing filters is seeking tech startups that we believe have high exit potential, because private markets often outpay public markets and that delivers dollars to investors. One of the ways to get a grip on exit options is to look at a track record for a sector, a geography, or a stage. If the thumb rule is, 80% of a fund is invested within 100 miles of the headquarters of that fund, its smart to look around the fund headquarters to see what the exits are like. After all, this isn’t Silicon Valley–so what are we dealing with?

Valor compiled Southeast regional acquisitions in the last 10 years within a few hours drive of Atlanta,  $50 million or above.

  • To get rid of the “noise” of legacy companies in the strike zone, like YP and Belk, which had acquisition events, I limited the data to companies that were founded after 12/31/1995.
  • To share more info, I have not limited this to “software” or any other sub sector–this is “raw exits”
  • Exits at $50 million or above are capable of venture-class returns, but that doesn’t mean any of these on the list had specific returns–each deal is unique.
  • This data is far from perfect–I relied on Crunchbase, which is mostly crowdsourced. Please let the know any errors or omissions you find.

As you look at this, notice what you see around sector. Do one or two sectors dominate? There are themes. Notice headquarters–are one or two cities getting a bigger share of the exit opportunity? There are some take aways here. What’s fascinating to me is, our local story is often that “a sector fund” is a smart strategy. The data says diversified suits the terroir.

As Valor defines our investing hypotheses around deals, we paid careful attention to the types, sectors and sizes of exit that our region realizes. We are fans of hypergrowth tech that is not sector specific.  When you look at the data, which trends speak to you?

Company NameCategory GroupsHeadquarters LocationTotal Funding AmountNumber of FoundersAcquiring Company NameAnnounced On DatePrice
1st United BancorpFinancial Services, Lending and InvestmentsBoca Raton, Florida, United StatesValley National Bancorp05/08/2014$300,000,000
3PD, Inc.Marietta, Georgia, United StatesXPO Logistics08/16/2013$365,000,000
Adjoined ConsultingInformation Technology, Professional ServicesMiami, Florida, United States$25,000,0002Kanbay02/15/2006$165,000,000
Advanced Care ScriptsHealth CareOrlando, Florida, United States2Omnicare07/16/2008$212,000,000
Advanced Liquid LogicHardware, SoftwareMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$5,227,590Illumina07/23/2013$96,000,000
AirWatchHardware, Consumer Electronics, Privacy and Security, MobileAtlanta, Georgia, United States$225,000,0001VMware01/22/2014$1,540,000,000
AnthelioBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringDallas, Georgia, United StatesAtos09/12/2016$275,000,000
AppiaApps, Software, Sales and Marketing, Mobile, AdvertisingDurham, North Carolina, United States$44,250,0001Digital Turbine11/13/2014$100,000,000
AuthenTecBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Hardware, Information Technology, Data and Analytics, Privacy and SecurityMelbourne Beach, Florida, United States$37,900,000Apple07/27/2012$356,000,000
Automated InsightsScience and Engineering, Commerce and Shopping, Media and Entertainment, Data and Analytics, Software, Financial ServicesDurham, North Carolina, United States$10,800,0001Vista Equity Partners02/12/2015$80,000,000
AvioqManufacturing, Health CareDurham, North Carolina, United StatesShandong Oriental Ocean Sci-Tech02/15/2016$65,000,000
Bamboo TherapeuticsBiotechnology, Manufacturing, Science and Engineering, Health CareNorth Carolina, United States, North America$49,500,0005Pfizer08/01/2016$654,000,000
BioMimetic TherapeuticsBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Sports, Health CareFranklin, Tennessee, United States$36,618,9551Wright Medical Group11/19/2012$190,000,000
BLiNQ MediaSales and Marketing, AdvertisingAtlanta, Georgia, United States$6,600,0003Gannett Co Inc08/10/2012$92,000,000
BrightreeInformation Technology, Software, Health CareLawrenceville, Georgia, United StatesResMed02/22/2016$800,000,000
BrightstarHardware, Consumer Electronics, Financial Services, MobileMiami, Florida, United States$283,000,0001Tech Data09/12/2012$165,000,000
C3/CustomerContactChannelsInformation Technology, Professional ServicesPlantation, Florida, United StatesEverstone10/07/2016$150,000,000
Campus Crest CommunitiesTravel and Tourism, Real EstateCharlotte, North Carolina, United StatesHarrison Street Real Estate Capital10/19/2015$1,900,000,000
CapStone BankFinancial ServicesRaleigh, North Carolina, United StatesNewBridge Bank11/01/2013$64,000,000
CardioMEMSHealth CareAtlanta, Georgia, United States$232,601,8722St. Jude Medical05/30/2014$455,000,000
Cardioxyl PharmaceuticalsBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareChapel Hill, North Carolina, United States$66,500,0004Bristol-Myers Squibb11/02/2015$2,000,000,000
CBeyondHardware, Information TechnologyAtlanta, Georgia, United States$141,000,0002Birch Communications04/21/2014$323,000,000
CellzDirectBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringDurham, North Carolina, United States$3,400,000Life Technologies01/10/2008$57,000,000
Centerre Healthcare CorporationHealth CareBrentwood, Tennessee, United StatesKindred Healthcare11/12/2014$195,000,000
Channel IntelligenceInternet ServicesOrlando, Florida, United States$9,084,5162Google02/06/2013$125,000,000
Chatham TherapeuticsBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareChapel Hill, North Carolina, United States$201,0002Baxter International04/02/2014$70,000,000
Chelsea Therapeutics InternationalBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareCharlotte, North Carolina, United States$39,420,0001Lundbeck05/08/2014$658,000,000
ChoicePointTransportationAlpharetta, Georgia, United States1Reed Elsevier Plc02/21/2008$4,099,999,999
Cigna HealthSpringBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringFranklin, Tennessee, United States$3,700,0001Cigna01/01/2011$3,800,000,000
CipherTrustHardware, Information Technology, Consumer Electronics, Internet Services, Privacy and SecurityAlpharetta, Georgia, United States$42,000,000Secure Computing07/12/2006$273,600,000
Cirrus PharmaceuticalsHealth CareMorrisville, North Carolina, United StatesRecipharm04/19/2016$* 203,000,000
CoaLogixEnergy, Information Technology, SustainabilityCharlotte, North Carolina, United States$13,350,000Energy Capital Partners07/29/2011$101,000,000
Contact At Once!Information Technology, Data and Analytics, Software, Internet Services, Messaging and TelecommunicationsAlpharetta, Georgia, United States$3,000,0003LivePerson11/05/2014$65,000,000
Creative CircleAdministrative Services, Professional ServicesAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesOn Assignment05/11/2015$570,000,000
Curo Health ServicesHealth CareMooresville, North Carolina, United StatesThomas H. Lee Partners12/12/2014$730,000,000
DatamyxTransportation, Financial ServicesBoca Raton, Florida, United StatesDeluxe Corp10/19/2015$160,000,000
Devcon Security SystemsPrivacy and SecurityHollywood, Florida, United StatesADT Security08/08/2013$148,500,000
Diatherix LaboratoriesBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareHuntsville, Alabama, United States$1,620,030Eurofins Scientific06/01/2015$50,000,000
DigitalsmithsMedia and Entertainment, Software, VideoDurham, North Carolina, United States$38,251,3642TiVo01/29/2014$135,000,000
EmdeonSoftware, Payments, Financial ServicesNashville, Tennessee, United StatesChange Healthcare11/19/2014$185,000,000
Emerging Markets CommunicationsHardwareMiramar Beach, Florida, United StatesGlobal Eagle Entertainment05/09/2016$550,000,000
EnergySouthEnergy, SustainabilityMobile, Alabama, United StatesSempra Energy07/28/2008$510,000,000
EnergySouthEnergy, SustainabilityMobile, Alabama, United StatesLaclede Group04/26/2016$344,000,000
ExamWorksHealth Care, Internet Services, Financial ServicesAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesLeonard Green & Partners04/27/2016$2,200,000,000
FDC VitaminsHealth Care, TransportationMiami, Florida, United StatesVitamin Shoppe06/09/2014$85,000,000
FirethornFinancial Services, Lending and Investments, MobileAtlanta, Georgia, United States$25,131,611Qualcomm Incorporated11/14/2007$210,000,000
First Security GroupFinancial ServicesChattanooga, Tennessee, United StatesAtlantic Capital Bank03/26/2015$160,000,000
Fleet OneFinancial ServicesAntioch, Tennessee, United StatesWex10/08/2012$369,000,000
Furiex PharmaceuticalsBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$15,000,000Forest Laboratories04/28/2014$1,100,000,000
GATR TechnologiesSoftwareHuntsville, Alabama, United StatesCubic Corporation02/03/2016$232,500,000
General Parts InternationalTransportationRaleigh, North Carolina, United StatesAdvance Auto Parts10/16/2013$2,400,000,000
Given ImagingHealth CareDuluth, Georgia, United StatesCovidien12/09/2013$860,000,000
GO.COSoftware, Internet ServicesMiami, Florida, United States3Neustar03/20/2014$109,000,000
Halifax MediaFinancial Services, Lending and InvestmentsDaytona Beach, Florida, United StatesNew Media Investment Group01/09/2015$280,000,000
Hatteras FinancialReal Estate, Financial ServicesWinston Salem, North Carolina, United StatesAnnaly Capital Management04/11/2016$1,500,000,000
Healthcare SolutionsHealth Care, Financial ServicesDuluth, Georgia, United StatesCatamaran Corp.02/26/2015$405,000,000
Hostopia.comSoftwareFort Lauderdale, Florida, United StatesDeluxe Corp09/01/2008$124,000,000
HowStuffWorksHardware, Media and Entertainment, Consumer Electronics, VideoAtlanta, Georgia, United States$75,000,0001Discovery Communications10/10/2007$250,000,000
Hughes TelematicsHardware, Transportation, MobileAtlanta, Georgia, United States$67,255,1501Verizon Communications06/01/2012$612,000,000
iContactInformation Technology, Data and Analytics, Sales and Marketing, Internet Services, Messaging and Telecommunications, DesignMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$53,400,1912Vocus02/28/2012$169,000,000
JouleXEnergy, Sustainability, SoftwareAtlanta, Georgia, United States$18,700,0002Cisco05/29/2013$107,000,000
Knights ApparelDesignSpartanburg, South Carolina, United StatesHanesbrands02/24/2015$200,000,000
Learn.comSoftware, Professional Services, EducationFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States1Taleo10/01/2010$125,000,000
Lender Processing ServicesSoftwareJacksonville, Florida, United StatesFidelity National Financial05/28/2013$2,900,000,000
LensARHealth CareOrlando, Florida, United States$169,521,8182ALPHAEON Corporation11/16/2015$59,000,000
Lincoln Financial MediaMedia and Entertainment, Video, Financial ServicesAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesEntercom Communications12/08/2014$105,000,000
LiveTVScience and EngineeringMelbourne Beach, Florida, United StatesThales Group03/17/2014$400,000,000
LVL7 SystemsManufacturing, Software, Internet ServicesMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$49,300,000Broadcom11/29/2006$62,000,000
M*ModalHealth CareFranklin, Tennessee, United StatesOne Equity Partners07/02/2012$1,100,000,000
MAKO SurgicalBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States$90,100,0002Stryker Corporation09/25/2013$1,650,000,000
MedAssetsSoftwareAlpharetta, Georgia, United States1Pamplona Capital Management11/02/2015$2,700,000,000
Merial LimitedBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringDuluth, Georgia, United StatesSanofi Aventis07/13/2009$4,000,000,000
MonikerInternet ServicesPompano Beach, Florida, United StatesOversee.net01/03/2008$65,000,000
NaviHealthHealth CareBrentwood, Tennessee, United States$4,099,999Cardinal Health08/25/2015$410,000,000
nContact SurgicalHealth CareMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$69,952,5872AtriCure10/05/2015$149,000,000
NeuronexBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringMorrisville, North Carolina, United States$1,899,9992Acorda Therapeutics02/17/2012$130,000,000
New Wave SurgicalHardware, Software, Health CarePompano Beach, Florida, United States1Covidien04/11/2014$100,000,000
NexidiaMedia and Entertainment, Data and Analytics, VideoAtlanta, Georgia, United States$40,268,8142NICE Systems01/11/2016$135,000,000
NovaMin TechnologyHealth CareAlachua, Florida, United States$2,500,0001GSK (GlaxoSmithKline)05/24/2010$135,000,000
NuLinkInternet ServicesNewnan, Georgia, United StatesWideOpenWest08/02/2016$53,000,000
NuVoxHardware, Information Technology, Internet Services, Messaging and TelecommunicationsGreenville, South Carolina, United States$165,500,0002Windstream11/03/2009$643,000,000
OpenSpanScience and Engineering, Data and Analytics, SoftwareAlpharetta, Georgia, United States$31,000,0003Pegasystems04/12/2016$52,300,000
PardotData and Analytics, Software, Sales and Marketing, DesignAtlanta, Georgia, United States2ExactTarget10/13/2012$95,500,000
Pasteuria BioscienceFinancial ServicesAlachua, Florida, United States$8,350,000Syngenta09/19/2012$113,000,000
PeopleclickMedia and Entertainment, Software, Internet Services, MobileRaleigh, North Carolina, United States$23,000,000Peopleclick Authoria01/05/2010$100,000,000
Phoenix PhysiciansHealth CareFort Lauderdale, Florida, United StatesEmCare06/11/2014$170,000,000
Pinova HoldingsBrunswick, Georgia, United StatesSymrise09/21/2015$417,000,000
PowerSecure InternationalManufacturing, Energy, Hardware, Sustainability, Consumer ElectronicsWake Forest, North Carolina, United States$65,000,000Southern Company02/24/2016$431,000,000
Private Bank of BuckheadFinancial Services, Lending and InvestmentsAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesNational Commerce Corp08/31/2016$2,000,000,000
Prolexic TechnologiesTravel and Tourism, Commerce and Shopping, Software, Payments, Financial ServicesHollywood, Florida, United States$51,900,0001Akamai Technologies12/02/2013$390,000,000
PS GoLiveSoftwareNorth Palm Beach, Florida, United StatesZanett09/22/2008$72,700,000
PureCarsTransportationCharleston, South Carolina, United States$10,000,0001Raycom Media10/28/2015$125,000,000
Revolution MoneyPayments, Financial Services, Lending and InvestmentsSt. Petersburg, Florida, United States$107,225,0002American Express11/18/2009$300,000,000
Rivals.comCommerce and Shopping, Sports, Internet ServicesBrentwood, Tennessee, United States$35,000,0002Yahoo!06/20/2007$100,000,000
RylaCommerce and Shopping, Information Technology, SoftwareKennesaw, Georgia, United States$9,120,018Alorica04/29/2010$70,000,000
Salveo Specialty PharmacyBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareSt. Petersburg, Florida, United States$19,250,0002Catamaran Corp.10/09/2014$260,000,000
SciodermBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareDurham, North Carolina, United States$37,000,0001Amicus Therapeutics08/31/2015$847,000,000
ScriptLogicSoftwarePompano Beach, Florida, United States$8,000,000Quest Software06/22/2007$90,000,000
Sensus USAInformation TechnologyRaleigh, North Carolina, United StatesXylem08/15/2016$1,700,000,000
Sequoia GolfSportsAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesClubCorp Holdings08/13/2014$265,000,000
ServigisticsInformation Technology, Software, TransportationAtlanta, Georgia, United States$23,000,000Parametric Technology (PTC)08/08/2012$220,000,000
Solana SurgicalBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringMemphis, Tennessee, United StatesWright Medical Group02/02/2014$90,000,000
Solstas Lab PartnersBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringGreensboro, North Carolina, United StatesQuest Diagnostics01/22/2014$570,000,000
Southern TideDesignGreenville, South Carolina, United StatesOxford Industries04/20/2016$85,000,000
SpherisSoftwareFranklin, Tennessee, United StatesTranscend Services04/09/2010$78,250,000
Sprout PharmaceuticalsBiotechnology, Science and Engineering, Health CareRaleigh, North Carolina, United States$79,095,7773Valeant Pharmaceuticals International08/20/2015$1,000,000,000
Studer GroupHealth CareGulf Breeze, Florida, United States1Huron Consulting Group01/27/2015$325,000,000
Switch and DataInternet ServicesTampa, Florida, United StatesEquinix10/21/2009$689,000,000
Symbion HoldingsHealth CareNashville, Tennessee, United StatesSurgery Partners06/16/2014$792,000,000
Symmetry Financial GroupFinancial ServicesSwannanoa, North Carolina, United StatesSumitomo Life Insurance Company08/11/2015$3,800,000,000
Symmetry SurgicalHealth CareAntioch, Tennessee, United StatesRoundTable Healthcare Partners05/02/2016$140,300,000
TeavanaCommerce and Shopping, Food and BeverageAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesStarbucks12/31/2012$620,000,000
The National Bank of GeorgiaFinancial Services, Lending and InvestmentsAthens, Georgia, United StatesState Street Bank & Trust04/05/2016$68,000,000
The OrchardMedia and Entertainment, Music and Audio, Sales and Marketing, VideoNashville, Tennessee, United States2Sony03/18/2015$200,000,000
TITAN GSHardware, Information Technology, Software, Professional Services, Internet Services, Financial ServicesCharlotte, North Carolina, United StatesVelocity Technology Solutions04/04/2014$80,000,000
Tower CloudHardware, Software, MobileSt. Petersburg, Florida, United States$109,046,7531Communications Sales & Leasing06/20/2016$230,000,000
TradeKingSoftware, Financial ServicesFort Lauderdale, Florida, United States$6,000,0001Ally Financial04/05/2016$275,000,000
Triad Retail MediaSales and Marketing, AdvertisingTampa, Florida, United StatesXaxis10/13/2016$300,000,000
TrustAtlantic BankFinancial Services, Lending and InvestmentsRaleigh, North Carolina, United StatesFirst Horizon10/22/2014$80,000,000
Vanguard Health SystemsHealth CareNashville, Tennessee, United StatesTenet Healthcare Corporation06/24/2013$1,800,000,000
VaxDesignBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringOrlando, Florida, United StatesSanofi Pasteur09/27/2010$60,000,000
VentyxSoftwareAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesABB05/05/2010$1,000,000,000
Vidara TherapeuticsBiotechnology, Science and EngineeringRoswell, Georgia, United States1Horizon Pharma03/19/2014$660,000,000
VitrueMedia and Entertainment, Software, Sales and Marketing, Internet Services, AdvertisingAtlanta, Georgia, United States$33,000,0002Oracle Corporation05/23/2012$300,000,000
VocalocityHardware, Information Technology, Software, Internet Services, Messaging and TelecommunicationsAtlanta, Georgia, United States$46,117,1072Vonage10/10/2013$130,000,000
Vurv TechnologySoftware, Professional ServicesJacksonville, Florida, United States$22,200,000Taleo05/06/2008$128,800,000
Wilson Parker HomesReal EstateAtlanta, Georgia, United StatesD.R. Horton09/06/2016$90,000,000
WolfspeedScience and Engineering, Hardware, Information Technology, MobileDurham, North Carolina, United States1Infineon Technologies07/14/2016$850,000,000