Exits soar in private equity recovery

STRONG initial public offering (IPO) results as well as secondary buyouts show the private equity (PE) industry is recovering robustly from the recession, according to a report out today from Ernst and Young.

The new study looks at exit activity in 2010, finding it increased sharply on the figures for 2008 and 2009. Indeed, activity almost doubled, with 57 exits last year, compared with just over 30 in each of the previous two years.

“PE has proved itself far better able to weather the storm than anyone had anticipated in 2008,” said Sachin Date from Ernst and Young. “Over the long term, PE-backed businesses should continue to outperform public markets.”

Eleven portfolio firms exited through IPOs in Europe last year. With an average value of €2.5bn (£2.1bn), they almost doubled the previous highs seen in 2007.