Bain Capital isn’t the only US private equity firm that seems apprehensive about conducting deals in Europe. American firms have completed just 90 new PE investments in European companies so far this year, according to the PitchBook Platform—well off the pace of 2016, when 596 deals were done. And last year's figure already represented a marked downturn from 2015, when US investors sealed a decade-high 726 transactions in Europe, per PitchBook data.
One might expect that the decline has largely occurred in the UK as an after-effect of the Brexit vote, but the numbers don’t back that up. Deals in Britain represented 49% of all European PE activity last year, and that number has climbed to 52% so far during 2017.
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