Buy and Build: The European Opportunity

23rd September 2018
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With record levels of dry powder in the market and to a large increase in M&A activity, what should GPs do now?


Deal multiples paid by private equity buyers hit record levels in 2018. Fundraising in the last few years has been at historically high levels. Low interest rates have been driving Limited Partners to invest capital into the asset class that, albeit riskier and less liquid, is currently presenting higher returns than public investments. This has led to a record level of dry powder in the market and to a large increase in M&A activity.

Competition for assets has hit new highs, with enterprise value (EV) multiples currently at 9.5x EBITDA. Increased competition and prices have led General Partners (GPs) to look for opportunities in sectors and geographies that they normally would not. PE activity across Europe reached new records in 2017 and does not seem ready to slow down. The question for GPs is what to do next?

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