European highlights:

  • Strong feelings of uncertainty and fears of the future have restrained valuations in the private markets, and led to a weaker exit environment. As a result, lower cash distributions to investors eager to re-commit capital to private equity has led to a slowdown in PE fundraising activity this quarter
  • However, current levels of dry powder have reached all-time highs (see chart 1), meaning that funds must continue to source deals and commit capital in a highly competitive market
  • Notably, Q1 2019 is the first quarter over the last five years in which the proportion of transactions announced in TMT has overtaken Services (see charts 3 and 4). This is likely a reflection of the fact that Business Services and IT are increasingly converging to create new tech-enabled services, providing an opportunity for PE funds to consolidate these markets and build scale
  • The rise in TMT deals as a proportion of total buyout transactions has been largely at the expense of Consumer, Leisure & Retail. The inflationary consequences of Brexit in the UK, historically Europe’s largest buyout market, has led to a retraction of consumer expenditure in Britain. As a result, there is a sense of caution among PE funds to invest in businesses which rely on discretionary spending or where barriers to entry are low
  • Industrials continues to be the sector in which PE funds invest the most capital, at a fairly constant proportion of 28% of buyout volumes throughout the last five years. The proportion of Healthcare transactions announced also remains consistent with their five-year average, despite being more

European activity

Q1 buyout activity in the European mid-market (# of transactions)

Who’s been fundraising?

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Regional highlights

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DC Contacts
Financial Sponsor Coverage Contacts

Andrew Strudwick
Managing Director, United Kingdom

T: +44 20 7856 0968
E: Andrew.Strudwick@dcadvisory.com

Richard Pulford
Managing Director, United Kingdom

T: +44 (0) 161 362 6800
E: Richard.Pulford@dcadvisory.com

Eric Hamou
CEO, France

T: +33 (0) 14 212 4940
E: Eric.Hamou@dcadvisory.com

César García
Head of Sponsors Coverage, Spain

T: +34 91 5241821
E: cesar.garcia@dcadvisory.com

Stefan Jaecker
CEO, Germany

T: +49 (0) 69 9720 0418
E: Stefan.Jaecker@dcadvisory.com