Across Europe, deal activity is down 38 per cent from €89.7bn (£75bn) in 2015 to €55.7bn.
And the decline is even more extreme in the UK, according to the latest data from the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR).
Activity plummeted from €28.7bn to €12.5bn, the lowest level of buyout activity since 2009.
“The referendum outcome has clearly had a material impact on the buyout market, the UK in particular, with the numbers reflecting a significant decline in mega-deals in the wake of the Brexit vote,” said Christiian Marriott, a partner at Equistone Partners Europe, which sponsored the report along with Investec.
“That said, in Europe generally there are pockets of encouraging news, particularly in parts of the mid-market where a number of countries have recorded increases in activity levels. This shows private equity’s ability to persevere and keep putting capital to work despite a challenging macro-economic backdrop.”
The UK remained Europe’s largest market – but only just. France activity totalled € 11bn, down from € 11.5bn last year.