Preqin’s Private Equity Online contains detailed information on 4,751 private equity-backed divestments that have taken place in EMEA countries since 2006, for an aggregate exit value of $1.1tn. In 2015, exits in the region accounted for 41% and 36% respectively of the number and aggregate value of all private equity-backed exits globally.
As shown in the chart above, the number of private equity-backed exits in the EMEA region increased annually from 2012 (436) to 2015 (599). Aggregate exit value fluctuated during this period, peaking at $172.9bn in 2014 before falling to $127bn in 2015. The decline in aggregate exit value corresponds with divestments that are completed at lower values: the average exit value for transactions completed in EMEA was $683mn in 2014 compared with $479mn in 2015.
Trade sales are the most prevalent exit route for EMEA-based portfolio companies, representing over half (51%) of exits since 2006. Furthermore, the average exit value of trade sales from 2006 is $559mn, making this the most lucrative exit route for buyout fund managers. In 2015, more than half (52%) of the total number of exits in EMEA were trade sales, compared with 45% in 2014. However, value realized from trade sales declined from $101bn in 2014 to $76bn in 2015.
The industrials and consumer & retail industries accounted for the largest proportion (24% and 20% respectively) of total private equity-backed exits in 2015 in EMEA countries. The total exit value in the industrials sector in 2015 was $31.3bn, while exits in the consumer & retail industry were completed for $22.7bn in 2015. The proportion of total private equity-backed exits in EMEA accounted for by the IT sector increased from 10% in 2014 to 14% in 2015, with a significant increase in exit value over the period from $7.9bn to $13.5bn.
Notable exits in the EMEA region include the trade sale of Germany-based logistics company Dematic in June 2016 from AEA Investors and Teachers Private Capital to KION Group for $2.1bn, making it one of the largest private equity-backed exits in the industrials industry in 2016 so far.