Following three consecutive years of strong activity, European PE deal flow declined substantially in the first quarter of 2018. However, that could be a temporal anomaly—a flurry of announced deals have yet to close.
In our 1Q 2018 European PE Breakdown, our analysts delve into what is behind the decline in dealmaking on the continent, analyzing activity by region, size, sector and more, including a spotlight on the Nordics.
Just 690 deals totaling €62.5 billion were completed across the region, representing 7% and 21% quarter-over-quarter declines, respectively. Though completed deal flow was stagnant, a flurry of deals announced in 4Q 2017 and 1Q have yet to close, which should aid deal counts through the remainder of the year.
The UK and Ireland accounted for 36% of completed deals in 1Q 2018, having grown from 33% last year and 30% in 2016. GBP-denominated assets are currently viewed by outside investors as temporarily on sale, with the hope that prices will bounce back once the UK economy reestablishes itself outside the EU.
Despite just 15 funds closing in 1Q, total fundraising came in at €28.8 billion as the median fund size leapt to €410.6 billion. The migration to larger vehicles is occurring in other regions as well, but the trend is particularly strong in Europe.
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