Survey: Expect a surge in UK exits

More than three-quarters of UK managers expect to exit at least half their domestic portfolio companies over the next year, a survey says.

Over the next 12 months, 77 percent of British GPs will divest at least half of their domestic portfolio companies, according to Grant Thornton’s Private Equity Barometer.

Limited partners are “enthusiastic about new deal opportunities, particularly smaller public companies wanting to delist”, said Mo Merali, head of private equity at Grant Thornton’s UK division.

The quarterly survey, which had a sample of approximately 100 managers in the UK, reported that 85 percent of British GPs expect to exit roughly a quarter of their portfolio’s British companies. Fourteen percent of respondents expect to exit up to 100 percent of their UK holdings.

[Limited partners are] enthusiastic about new deal opportunities, particularly smaller public companies wanting to delist

Mo Merali

Only one in ten respondents did not anticipate any domestic exits in the next 12 months.

Deal activity is also expected to increase in the coming months, according to the survey. A large majority of respondents (67 percent) expect deal volume to increase over the next year, compared to 27 percent who expect deal activity to remain the same. Only 6 percent of respondents expect a decrease in activity over the next 12 months.

“The total value of private equity investments in Britain has risen dramatically this year and we also expect the volume to pick up”, said Merali.