While the state of the economy in the United Kingdom is hotly debated amongst the public in the country as well as by the nation’s politicians, figures released at the end of December 2013 from the Centre for Management Buyout Research and reported by Financial News show that the country is leading the way when it comes to European private equity (PE) buyout deals.
The total number of PE buyout deals completed in Europe was 521 in 2013, reports the same source, for a value of €50.3billion. This represents a decrease from 2012 and indeed is the lowest figure since 2009 (€20billion). Although the number and the value of buyout deals in the UK fell in 2013, it still remains the continental leader, closing a total of 183 deals with a combined value of €16billion. The nearest competitor to the UK is Germany, who had far less deals completed (64) but was comparatively closer in terms of deal value, with a combined total of €11.6billion.
Berlin’s reputation as a strong tech hub, particularly for start-up businesses, is no doubt playing a part in these larger value deals heading into Germany. While the UK is in the middle of all the emerging tech PE markets in Europe – Germany, Ireland, and the Scandinavian nations – it has been unable to drive deals of significant value itself within this sector.
From a continental perspective, the most concerned country will be France, who were once leading Europe both in terms of deal number and value, but have now slipped to such a point that PE buyouts are 57% less than in 2011, when they were last the strongest PE hub in Europe.
Exits, particularly from IPOs, brought brighter news across the continent in 2013, the same report indicating that €73.9billion came from this sector in 2013.