UK private equity is heading for its strongest year since the financial crisis with £12bn of buyouts

 
Lucy White
General Aerial Views Across London
Global investment is also up on last year (Source: Getty)

Private equity investment in UK companies is heading for its strongest year since the financial crisis, as the third quarter of this year saw the highest amount of money invested since 2007.

Buyout houses dug into 44 deals worth a combined £12bn between July and September, deploying the most capital in UK businesses for a decade, according to data provider Unquote.

The largest deals were Blackstone and CVC's £3bn acquisition of PaySafe, and Cinven's £2.4bn sale of CPA Global to Leonard Green & Partners.

“Given the rate that new capital is flowing into the private equity market, it is perhaps not surprising that the need to put money to work is currently outweighing doubts over political uncertainty,” said Unquote's head of data Julian Longhurst.

“Similarly, fears about rising entry multiples and increasingly aggressive debt structures appear not to be putting the market off.”

Read more: Heavyweight UK buyout funds take advantage of “frothy” markets to launch record new funds

Although the volume of deals fell slightly over the quarter, from 47 to 44, the year is on track to be significantly more active than last year with 147 deals completed to date compared to 122 in the same period of 2016.

The rest of Europe as a whole mirrored these rises, although they were not as marked.

Meanwhile, Thomson Reuters figures show global private equity-backed deals in the third quarter were down by both value and number on the previous quarter and the same quarter last year.

The number of deals shrank by 4.2 per cent compared to the third quarter of 2016, while the value dropped by 5.7 per cent.

But for the year as a whole, 2017 has continued to excel. The value of deals was up 25.4 per cent year-to-date compared to 2016, while the number was up 2.1 per cent.

According to Thomson Reuters, $213.6bn (£158.9bn) has been invested in global deals this year – the most since the $525.7bn in 2007.

Read more: Private equity buyouts of UK companies start year at highest level ever

Related articles