And all of a sudden, there seems to be a big turning of the tide in terms of private companies' sentiments regarding public markets. On Tuesday, snack maker Hostess charted its ambitions to complete its post-bankruptcy turnaround, announcing plans to make a public market debut through a reverse merger with a listed acquisition company. Also this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that iPhone production company Foxconn Interconnect Technology is aiming to raise up to $1 billion in an offering of its own.
All of this comes on the heels of the runaway success of software company Twilo's initial public offering, which saw shares shoot up after its late June market debut.
Separately, there are signs that M&A may finally take off. After seeing a record number of transactions busted up by Washington regulators, big banks are probably reassured to see more mega-deals being considered by corporate boards. Blockbuster M&A deals including Bayer's bid to buy out Monsanto could be followed by other large-scale mergers in sectors including pharmaceuticals, one banker said.
Part of what might be pushing corporate boards to weigh big purchases is the cheap debt expected to proliferate in the 2016 market, thanks to central bankers' unease with raising rates in the immediate wake of June's Brexit vote. And, elsewhere in the deal marketplace, bankers think that stalling Silicon Valley valuations could also push once-hot start-ups to consider selling out if the right offer arrives.
"In a post-Brexit world and a better but still discerning IPO market, you will see seller capitulation that results in accelerating tech M&A, including a few unicorns," said Elgin Thompson, managing director at Digital Capital Advisors.