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European PE Breakdown

2021 Annual

European PE Breakdown

January 14, 2022

European PE Breakdown
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This report was reuploaded on January 27, 2022, to update a chart and corresponding deal multiples data referenced in the text on page 5.

European PE records blockbuster year

Private equity activity showed no sign of slowing down in 2021, as the region saw new records set in terms of deal count and value. The industry saw dealmaking bolstered by mountains of dry powder, eager sellers and strong debt markets.  

Our 2021 European PE Breakdown takes a comprehensive look at the main drivers of this standout year. The report also includes a deep dive into some key investment strategies spanning sectors such as IT, healthcare, and financial services.

Key takeaways
 
  • Bolt-ons played a major role as a path to value creation, having accounted for 65% of all buyouts in the region. 
 
  • UK & Ireland continued dominating as a destination for private capital, despite the impact of Brexit. Combined, the two countries doubled their pre-global financial crisis peaks and quadrupled deal value from 10 years ago. 
 
  • This is the hottest exit market yet, thanks in part to a strong IPO market lifted by public equity investors’ willingness to pay a premium for fast-growing private companies. 

Table of contents
Introduction 2
Overview 3
Deals by sector and size 8
Spotlight: 2022 European Private Capital Outlook 9
Exits 10
Fundraising 13