Buyout deals enjoy strong third quarter

PRIVATE equity firms enjoyed a strong third quarter, taking the average value of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals to their highest for three years, KPMG research has revealed.

Its latest management buyout research showed nearly £9.3bn changed hands in the last three months, almost three times the value of M&A deals in the previous quarter, which stood at £3.6bn, despite a lower volume of deals being completed.

The average value of M&A deals was in the region of £180m, a figure last seen in 2006, although the number of deals remains at the 2003 level of around 30 per quarter.

Private equity fund managers took advantage of the summer while their rivals were away on holiday, KPMG said, recording three £1bn deals during July and August.

Among recent deals to make headlines were Canadian Pension Plan, Onex’s acquisition of engineering firm Tomkins for nearly £3bn. Another deal was the buyout of vending machine company Autobar by CVC Capital Partners for £1bn in August.

Meanwhile, Advent International and Bain Capital’s acquisition of financial services firm RBS Worldpay for just under £2bn was the largest private equity deal since 2008.