PRIVATE equity buyouts in the latest quarter were higher than last year, but trade remains subdued compared to pre-downturn levels in 2007.
The total value of UK deals in the first quarter 2010 was around a tenth of the 2007 peak of €45bn (£38.7bn at today’s exchange rate), according to figures published by Mergermarket.
The volume of buyouts has risen to just under half the 2007 watermark, with 61 deals in the last quarter. The UK’s most lucrative buyout so far this year was Pets At Home’s £955m move from Bridgepoint Capital to Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts in January.
The largest deal in Europe was the €2.2bn purchase of the Tommy Hilfiger Corporation by PVH, the New York-based owners of Calvin Klein. The consumer sector has led the buyout revival, making up 26 per cent of all European private equity activity in 2010 by value.