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2015 sees move toward larger European private equity deals

Overall, 2015 witnessed a movement towards larger European private equity deals, with total deal value increasing by 38.4 per cent, while total volume slipped by 9.7 per cent. As a result, average deal value increased by 53.2 per cent.

That’s according to the Q4 2015 unquote” European Private Equity Barometer, published by unquote” in association with SL Capital Partners, which reveals that the number of European private-equity-backed deals declined by 9.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2015, from the 396 transactions seen in the previous three months to 360 transactions.  Combined deal value also declined, slipping by 11.6 per cent.
In annual terms, the value of buyouts in 2015, at EUR123.6 billion, is up 35.7 per cent on the previous year, while the number of deals (550) represents a 4.2 per cent decline.
Aggregated value decreased markedly – dropping by 14 per cent from the previous quarter’s total of EUR34.2 billion, to EUR29.4 billion.
Deals above the EUR100 million mark were responsible for the decrease in the total number of buyouts in the fourth quarter. The core mid-market value (EUR100 million–EUR1 billion) and large-cap (EUR1 billion+) segments were down from 46 to 44 deals and from seven to six deals, respectively.
The Nordic region recorded the most pronounced rise in deal numbers – up 57.1 per cent, from 14 to 22 deals. Total deal value in the region jumped 55.7 per cent from EUR4.5 billion to EUR7.1 billion.
Peter McKellar, Senior Managing Partner of SL Capital Partners, says: ”While Q4 2015 disappointed in terms of the number of transactions announced, the positive for 2015 as a whole was the increase in capital deployed by European buyout funds.  Trade buyers provided strong competition on deals during the year, however, in the important mid to large (EUR100 million - EUR1 billion+) buyout market, private equity groups continued to demonstrate strong deal flow.  This was impressive against a background of many managers focusing on exits during 2015.  Looking forward to 2016, the current volatility should offer buying opportunities for well capitalised private equity funds.”

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