2018 is shaping to be another productive year for European PE. The France & Benelux region, in particular, boasted promising signs of development and maturity, having seen multiple large exits and deals executed and its first mega-fund closed. Fundraising across all regions is healthy and looks set to remain so given a slew of substantial open funds poised to close this year. Europe also enjoyed a surfeit of dealmaking in 2Q, especially at the top end of the market, closing 13 €1 billion+ deals.
- After a slow start to the year, European PE deal activity picked up in the second quarter with 804 deals totaling €88.5 billion across all regions. 13 €1 billion+ deals closed in the quarter, compared to seven in 1Q, leading to a 20% quarter-over-quarter rise in completed deal value.
- 2Q saw 219 exits total €27.8 billion. Secondary buyouts (SBOs) accounted for over half of all exits (51%), marking the highest annual figure on record and the third straight year in which SBOs gained exit share. The IPO market remained lukewarm in 2Q with 17 companies going public, bringing the 1H total to 31, compared with 36 for 1H 2017.
- After 1Q saw a record-setting three mega-funds (€5 billion+) hold a final close, fundraising was slower for these vehicles in 2Q. As a result, capital raised fell noticeably to €13.1 billion while a total of 20 funds closed, an 11% increase. With five open funds aiming to raise €3 billion+, the current fundraising momentum looks to continue.