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European Private Equity Outlook 2015

Portrait of Sascha Haghani
Senior Partner, Member of the Global Executive Commitee, CEO Germany and DACH Region
Frankfurt Office, Central Europe
+49 69 29924-6444
February 19, 2015

The European private equity industry is looking to 2015 with caution. Whereas 82% of market players expected transaction numbers to rise in 2014, this year the figure is a more conservative 62%. 18%, in fact, even expect the market to shrink. These are some of findings our experts uncovered in their latest study into the European private equity outlook for 2015 – the sixth in a series since 2009.

"Europe's private equity market is still growing, although the euphoria of last year has died down somewhat," says Roland Berger Partner Gerd Sievers. "The industry's success depends partly on the availability of attractive targets. But the volatility of the markets often has a negative impact on international acquisitions, too."

The first signs of a cool-down surfaced back in 2014, with around one third of survey respondents closing fewer transactions than anticipated. 28% of respondents cited a lack of attractive targets as a main reason, followed by the worsening geopolitical development as well as the pricing of targets, both coming in at 22%.

The trend is continuing into 2015, with Europe's M&A markets set to see slower growth. The UK, the biggest market for corporate takeovers, is expected to see no more than about a 2 percentage point increase, with the Iberian peninsula and Italy each anticipating some 1.8% growth. The German acquisitions market is set to grow 1.7%. Bringing up the rear are France, Austria, and Switzerland, where the PE experts anticipate no more than 0.5% growth in transactions. The only market set to grow slightly—for the first time in three years—is Greece with a projected 0.6%.

Gerd Sievers: "Europe's PE market is still growing, but the euphoria of last year has died down somewhat."
Gerd Sievers: "Europe's PE market is still growing, but the euphoria of last year has died down somewhat."

In terms of the industries deemed most relevant, pharmaceuticals and healthcare (49%), consumer goods and retail (48%), and technology and media (46%) remain the frontrunners. The automotive industry (10%) and the chemical sector (13%), on the other hand, feature fewer acquisitions. The energy sector is also very weak (22%). "The radical industry transformation that the changes in energy policy were expected to bring has so far failed to materialize," comments Sievers.

  • Photo credits: GS / Getty Images; geopaul / Gallery stock

Study

European Privat Equity Outlook 2015

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The European private equity industry is looking to the new year with caution.

Published February 2015. Available in
Portrait of Gerd Sievers
Senior Partner
Munich Office, Central Europe
+49 89 9230-8543