IPO market active for private equity firms in Europe

The first half of 2014 is on pace to be the busiest period for private equity backed IPOs since 1998.  

There were 31 private equity backed IPOs in Europe in the first six months of 2014, the highest number of such exits coming out of the region since 1998, according to the latest data published by the Centre for Management Buyout Research (CMBOR). In total, the IPOs generated some €33.4 billion.

Six of the top ten European IPOs so far this year were valued at over €1 billion. Acromonas Holdings| Saga AA’s fundraising – one of the biggest — had a valuation of €4.4 billion.

European exits are also on the rise with the first half of the year totaling €52.8 billion, a 63 percent increase over the same period last year.  Buyouts reached €23.7 billion.

All of this activity is leading to a somewhat tepid secondaries buyout market, relative to previous years. Just €8.8 billion in exits have been reported on the secondary markets so far this year, down 25 percent from 2013.

On a sector-by-sector basis, financial services has already outpaced 2013 in total, coming in at €2.6 billion. The total figure for 2013 was €2.5 billion. Banco Santader’s sale of Altamira Asset Management to Apollo Global Management for €660 million topped the deal flow in this sector.

TMT has also performed well with total buyout volumes of €6.7 billion, coming close to last year’s total figure of €7.1 billion. The five largest deals completed this year so far included Scout24 (€2.0 billion), Skillsoft (€$1.7 billion), Unit 24 NV (€1.2 billion) and Trader Media (€740 million.)

On a country-by-country basis the majority of activity is occurring in the UK, with nearly half (41 percent) of all European exits occurring there – 89 out of a total of 181.