In many ways, the recent history of private equity in Germany mirrors the industry’s recent history throughout Europe. After tumbling off a cliff in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, activity has bounced back with a vengeance.
Last year, a record 281 private equity deals were completed in Germany, according to the PitchBook Platform, narrowly eclipsing 2014’s previous high point. The total marks a healthy 25% increase over 2013 and a considerable 65% bump compared to 2009, the low point of the past decade. The numbers are a bit different across the whole of the continent, but the story stays much the same. European PE activity held fairly steady from 2014 to 2015, but last year’s deal count of 2,899 marks a 85% uptick from the post-crisis nadir of 2009.
The sector most responsible for the rising tide in Germany is B2B. Last year, 47% of all PE deals were in the B2B space, including a PE consortium’s €3.9 billion buyout of service station operator Autobahn Tank & Rast and Bain Capital's €600 million acquisition of elevator components manufacturer Wittur.
While foreign firms have certainly been active in Germany, the country’s own PE investors have been leading the charge. Here are the top PE investors in the nation since 2007, along with their deal counts: