European private equity on course for record year

The value of buyouts during the first three quarters of this year already exceeds the total for the whole of 2004.

The total value of all transactions in the European market so far this year now stands at €94.8 billion ($112.0 billion), almost 50 percent higher than the €64.3bn achieved during the first three quarters of last year, according to figures released last week.
The Private Equity Barometer, a report produced by Incisive Media and Candover, found that the third quarter of 2005 saw total private equity activity in Europe reach €39.8 billion, a 67 percent increase on the €23.8 billion recorded during the same period last year.
Of this, €37.5 billion was made up of buyouts, representing a 17 percent increase on the previous quarter’s record figure of €32.1 billion. This brings the total value of European buyouts this year to €90.6 billion, surpassing the  €81.2bn of deals completed during the whole of 2004.
The report found that the total number of private equity transactions has actually dropped due to poor completion rates in the early-stage and growth capital segments. A total of 263 deals were completed in the third quarter, compared to 284 in the previous quarter and 291 during the same period of 2004.
Last quarter’s bumper deal value is due in part to a wave of transactions worth more than €1 billion. These include Starwood Capital’s €2.6 billion buyout of champagne producer Groupe Taittinger, the €2.25 billion acquisition of Spanish telecoms company Auna Tlc by a consortium led by Providence Equity Partners, and Apax’s €1.6 billion buyout of UK foreign exchange group Travelex.
The total number of deals completed so far this year now stands at 437 buyouts, a 22 percent increase over the same period of 2004.