The expeditious speed of recent public listings is putting to bed a headline once a staple of M&A coverage—the reported decline of the public company. SPACs and capital markets still eager to reward stocks with both a growth and value proposition are lifting the number of listed companies, and giving PE a public exit option alongside the rising tide.

“Only five years ago there were headlines saying the number of public companies has diminished so much there won’t be many left, and between the divestitures [and] privately held companies that have become public again,” said EY-Parthenon global buy and integrate leader Brian Salsberg, at a media roundtable yesterday. “It’s no longer the case that we’re seeing this mass shrinkage of public companies.”

The “IPO market is hitting new highs in terms of issuance,” said Gareth McCartney, global co-head of equity capital markets at UBS at a roundtable earlier this week. Though issuance could prove choppier in a rising interest rate environment, even a slightly less robust clip of public listings would allow for a good number of IPOs in the year ahead, McCartney said.

Bright spots remain amongst the 2021 class of market debutants, including Affirm Holding’s 161 percent surge since its listing and Robolox’s 177 percent rise.

No doubt a growing queue of potential public companies will join their ranks soon as SPACs continue to spend sums raised earlier this year.