Private equity deals speed up over February

Michael Bow
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THE VALUE of UK private equity buyouts and exits shot up last month against the same period last year, despite a slower start to deal making volumes since the start of the year, figures show.

Total UK buyout values – which measure private equity groups buying firms – jumped to hit £566m during February, versus just £191m in 2012.

Meanwhile, sales of businesses by private equity funds during February doubled from £671m to £1.24bn this year, according to figures from data provider mergermarket.

The increase in exits last month was fuelled by deals from big private equity houses, including the £385m exit of Enterprise Group by 3i and the £300m exit of GHD Hair by Montagu Private Equity.

Despite a strong performance in January, UK private equity activity is still lagging against the same period last year.

In the first two months of 2012, the UK saw 40 deals worth some £2.26bn. This year, however, the first two months of the year have seen just 17 deals worth £988m.

Of the 10 biggest deals executed across Europe between the end of January and the end of February, six of them have originated from the UK.