2014 – Issue 1
Multiple: European private equity watch
Mega deal trend will continue
IPOs will continue to offer viable exit route
Fund raising will drive more deals
Non-European investors continue buying spree
European corporates need to rejoin the market
The European PE market has seen a sustained recovery over the past year and the outlook for 2014 is upbeat as confidence continues to grow. The total value of exits has surpassed new deal values and the IPO market has been the real hero in 2013. While secondary buyouts have remained steady, the lack of activity from European corporates has been disappointing.
Headlines, Q4 2013
Springer was the largest buyout of 2013
- BC Partners agreed to buy Springer Science & Business Media for €3.3b from EQT in a secondary buyout that was the largest PE-backed acquisition in Germany for seven years.
IPO market returned to life
- There were some 20 exits made through initial public offerings (IPOs) during the year, raising more than €25b during the year, the highest total value ever recorded. In 2012 there was only one IPO.
Germany claimed the largest buyouts of the year
- Out of the nine €1b-plus buyout deals of 2013, four were German, while only two were from the UK. The four German deals happened to be the four largest during the year as well.
Lowest level of megadeals since 2009
- The nine €1b-plus deals in 2013 had a combined total of just under €15b, making 2013 the quietest year for megadeals since the low of 2009.
Confidence remained fragile, but Eurozone fears abated
- The year began with fears that the financial crisis in Cyprus could spread to other Eurozone economies, but such fears proved unfounded as the zone stabilized during the year. Even so, non-Eurozone countries appeared to remain attractive to outside investors.
Post-crisis deals began to exit
- By the end of 2013, seven of the top 20 exits were from post-2009 deals, showing how PE has been able to buy at good prices and weather poor market conditions to grow their assets and successfully exit in a three- to five-year period.