Irish private equity activity hits new €11.9bn high

Vast majority of Irish deals recorded by PitchBook involved non-European investors

According to PitchBook, there were 14 Irish PE-backed exits last year totalling €7.5 billion.

According to PitchBook, there were 14 Irish PE-backed exits last year totalling €7.5 billion.

 

Private-equity (PE) activity hit a new high in Ireland last year with €11.9 billion invested across 39 deals, according to new figures from PitchBook.

This marks a sharp rise on the €3.73 billion invested a year earlier and is the highest level of capital invested in PE in Ireland in more than a decade.

The previous highest level by value was in 2015 when €10.2 billion was invested across 54 deals.

The vast majority of Irish deals recorded by PitchBook, whose cloud-based subscription-only database is used by PE firms across the world, involved non-European investors.

As many as 14 of the deals were valued under €100 million, with most of those investments totalling less than €25 million.

Corporate acquisitions

According to PitchBook, there were 14 Irish PE-backed exits last year totalling €7.5 billion. Of these, nine were corporate acquisitions, four were secondary buyouts and one was an initial public offering (IPO).

The figures come as PitchBook recently issued a European-wide report that show the total value of PE deals across the continent rose 14 per cent to €363 billion in 2017, while the average deal size climbed to a post-economic crisis high.

Decline

European PE firms raised €67.3 billion across 109 vehicles last year, the data shows. This marks a 7 per cent decline versus 2016.

Private-equity investors headquartered outside of Europe were involved in 718 deals totalling €150.2 billion in value, the second-highest level recorded.

The firm estimates that PE fund managers had €125 billion of surplus capital to spend in Europe as of the end of June last.

PitchBook uses input from more than 200 search professionals with machine-learning and natural language processing technologies to gather its information.