Private equity investors have backed 524 companies based in Northern Europe since the beginning of 2010, according to the PitchBook Platform. Sweden was easily the most popular destination for PE deal activity, commanding 40% of all of the investments in the timeframe. Denmark accounted for 22% and Norway another 19%.
Not surprisingly, the three most active firms in the region in the timeframe are also based there. Industri Udvikling, a Denmark-based firm, led the charge with 20 investments. Finland's CapMan closed 19 deals, and Sweden-based EQT notched 17. In all, 91 Northern Europe-based firms completed such deals, which was almost double the number of North American firms that committed capital to the region (47). GS Capital Partners was the most active U.S. firm on the list with five deals.
Northern Europe's B2B industry has been far and away the most popular target for PE in recent years, claiming 44% of all of the deal activity versus only 24% for the B2C industry. Broken down further, the three most popular sub-sectors for PE investments were all on the grittier side—construction & engineering (5%), machinery (5%) and industrial supplies & parts (4%). The non-B2B sub-sector that took in the most PE deals was food products (2%), the eighth most active sub-sector.
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