Highlights

  • Q1 2021 was significantly higher in terms of aggregate deal value with €3.7bn worth of deals disclosed compared to €2.1bn in 2020.[1] Most of these deals were buyout deals (roughly 57%), while growth investments accounted for approximately 13% of all Italian deal activity[2]. It is apparent that the Industrial and Technology segments of the market have been most popular, accounting for roughly 65% of investments during this quarter[3]
  • International investors have shown a strong interest in the Italian market thus far in 2021 with roughly 65% of all Italian M&A deals having been attributed to foreign parties[4]. Looking forward, we anticipate that private equity firms will look to continue targeting assets in the food industry, especially where eco-friendly and sustainable brands are present, in light of the rising prevalence of ESG considerations for investors[5]
  • In our view, the current market is buoyant and is characterised by increasing demand for alternative asset classes from investors who are seeking higher returns. As a consequence, there is a significant focus on private equity investments, with a rising trend for club deal solutions
  • Another key factor affecting the Italian market are the low valuation multiples experienced during 2020 compared to the broader European market. This attracts the interest of international private equity firms that are seeking a discount on high-quality assets. Given the results seen so far during Q1, this trend is likely to persist. There are also an increasingly large number of undercapitalised companies in Italy currently as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak - we believe is it likely that private equity investors could represent a viable solution for these companies that are in need of fresh capital
  • The large liquidity pool available to private equity firms is also expected to be a key driver for activity throughout the rest of 2021 and we expect private equity investors to dominate the Italian deal-making scene with an estimated deal share of 60% compared to strategic partners[6]

Key deals[7]

Business & Tech-Enabled Services

  • Apax Partners has agreed to acquire Lutech, an Italy-based ICT engineering and services company, from One Equity Partners, for an undisclosed consideration
  • Ardian along with the management of Jakala., have agreed to acquire Jakala, an Italy-based provider of digital event organizing and marketing services, for an undisclosed sum

Consumer, Leisure & Retail

  • Europe Capital Partners has agreed to acquire E'COSI, an Italy-based detergent maker, from the Fornasari and Lombardi families, for an undisclosed consolidation

Industrials Products & Services

  • Ambienta has agreed to acquire Capari, an Italy-based water pumps manufacturer, for an undisclosed consideration

TMT

  • Verlinvest has agreed to acquire S24, an Italy-based online grocery platform that offers same-day delivery to its customers from local supermarkets, for an undisclosed consideration

2014 – 2021 YTD total deals in Italy, by sector[8]

 

 

References

[1] Q1 2021 European mid-market deal report, Mergermarket, 04 March 2021 (criteria available on request)

[2] AIFI Associazione Italiana del private equity

[3] AIFI Associazione Italiana del Private Equity

[4] AIFI Associazione Italiana del Private Equity

[5] PwC Report “M&A in Italia Preview 2021”

[6] PwC Report “M&A in Italia Preview 2021”

[7] All Italy deals sourced from: Q1 2021 European mid-market deal report, Mergermarket, 04 March 2021 (criteria available on request)

[8] Italy graph sourced from: Q1 2021 European mid-market deal report, Mergermarket, 04 March 2021 (criteria available on request)