PE investors have been booking more flights to Europe over the past couple years, especially to hard-hit countries like Spain and Italy. Despite the hype around investment activity in Europe, deal flow and capital invested haven't boomed to the extent that we would think, according to PitchBook's 3Q 2014 European PE Breakdown. Economic uncertainty is still an issue across the region, and a surprising amount of debt remains on the balance sheets of European companies stemming from the financial crisis.
That said, there are a number of reasons for optimism: total capital invested eclipsed €50 billion for the sixth straight quarter in 2Q, reflecting increasingly healthy valuations for Europe-based companies. The 'buy and build' model is gaining popularity for buyout investors; bolt-ons now account for 44% of all control investments as firms look to expand their platforms in a low-growth environment.
The report also looks at recent trends for VC financings in Europe over the past several quarters, as well as a regional breakdown, exit and fundraising figures, and league tables for the most active investors, lenders and law firms in the second quarter.