Corporate Financing Analysis - European PE Activity Showing Resilience Amid Political Uncertainty - 13 NOV 2017

Despite having its activity levels eclipsed by those in North America and Asia so far in 2017 ( see ' Buyout Tailwinds Driving Global PE Spending Surge ' , November 1 2017), European private equity dealmaking has been on a post global financial crisis record run this year as well. With fundraising in the region remaining strong, despite the ongoing political uncertainty, the outlook in the near-to-medium term - at least - remains positive. According to data correct to November 3 2017, provided by Zephyr, a Bureau van Dijk product, 2,837 PE acquisitions worth a combined EUR117,531mn have been announced in the y-t-d period - an increase from USD102,360mn in total deal value across 3,133 announced deals recorded by the same stage in 2016. Furthermore, this represents the busiest year for announced deals since back during on the eve of the global financial crisis in the 2007 y-t-d period, by which stage 2,267 deals had been announced worth a combined EUR182,956mn. Furthermore, with a push of deals across the final two months of the year, activity levels in the 2017 PE M&A arena could be on course to outpace the full-year tally of EUR145,466mn recorded in 2016 (a year which enjoyed a late flurry of deals during the fourth quarter) across 3,692 transactions. We highlight that they are already ahead of the EUR115,977mn haul recorded across the 215 full-year period (via 3,943 deals).

Deals Have Been Getting Bigger

The volume of combined deals has been on the decline, y-o-y, as the deal values themselves have increased, meaning one thing: aggregate PE deal size in Europe has been getting larger - a trend we attribute to a shift in activity towards the upper middle market as both investors and fund managers grow in confidence. The largest PE deal in Europe in 2017 to-date has been the completed EUR5,754.6mn 100% acquisition of oil giant Shell UK's North Sea assets by EIG Global Energy Partners. This was some way ahead of the pending EUR4,444.49mn 100% institutional buyout of Danish fintech firm Nets A/S by a consortium of investors made up of Advent International Corporation, Hellman & Friedman, and Bain Capital, which ranks as the second largest of the y-t-d period.

Busiest Year In A Decade
Y-T-D Announced European PE M&A Activity By Deal Value, EURmn
Source: Zephyr (a Bureau van Dijk product), BMI

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