Europe experienced unsteady deal-flow in 2011. Last year, the number and aggregate value of European private equity-backed buyout deals increased steadily, reaching a peak in May 2011. From this point, however, the chain reaction of events associated with the European sovereign debt crisis took greater hold and buyout deal-flow declined, with the second half of 2011 witnessing a steady decrease in aggregate deal value.
This wavering deal-flow is masked by the total number and aggregate value of European buyouts in 2011 being the greatest on record since the onset of the credit crunch. The year was second only to the peak in European buyout deals that was witnessed in 2007, when 1,125 private equity-backed buyout deals were completed for an aggregate $237.9bn. The turnaround in aggregate value since the financial crisis has been more stunted in Europe than the recovery in the number of deals. In 2011, the aggregate value of private equity-backed buyout deals in Europe only reached $94.9bn, 60% lower than the peak observed during the private equity boom-era.
The recovery in European deal-flow currently looks promising, with January 2012 experiencing 75 buyout deals valued at $4.1bn, in comparison to December 2011 when 68 deals were announced with a value of $6bn. Notable transactions completed in 2012 so far include the announcement of the £950mn acquisition of CPA Global by Cinven from Intermediate Capital Group, as well as the privatisation of GlobeOp Financial Services by TPG, valued at £508mn.