Tuesday 25 September 2018 1:05 pm

UK private equity deals slump as Europe hits post-crisis high


  UK private equity deals slumped over the last three months while European buyouts hit a post-crisis high, according to new statistics. 

There were 46 buyouts of UK companies in the third quarter of this year, down on the previous three months, which was the most successful period for volume and value since 2007.

Just €19bn (£17.01bn) of deals have been completed in the UK this year, which is half the 2017 total, according to figures from Unquote Data.  

Over 2018 there have been 149 buyouts of UK companies by private equity (PE) houses, compared to 211 in 2017.

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In comparison, the total value of European private equity buyouts so far this year is €146bn, surpassing the 2017 figure of €148bn and setting a new post-crisis record. 

Spain, Italy and Portugal have been the top performers and combined have achieved a record high of €23bn.

Unquote's head of data and research, Julian Longhurst, said: “The preliminary third quarter stats accurately reflect an effervescent market for PE-backed deals across Europe – especially in the upper mid-market and large-cap segments.

"With so much dry powder looking for a home and plenty of leverage available from traditional lenders and credit funds alike, it looks likely that this will continue for the foreseeable future."

Longhurst added: “As far as the UK is concerned, the countdown to Brexit and the persistent uncertainty that surrounds the manner of the country’s split from the EU has done little to becalm the markets. In fact, with almost two years of contingency planning under their belts, many investors may actually be focusing more on the opportunities that Brexit is creating.”

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