International EVCA Releases 1999 Figures –

The European Venture Capital Association (EVCA) released the 1999 European private equity survey, compiled in conjunction with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, at its annual symposium that was held two weeks ago in Paris.

With 1999 seeing total funds raised of EURO25.4 billion, up 25% on 1998s EURO20.3 billion figure, and total investment the really telling figure at EURO25.1 billion, up a staggering 74% on 1998’s EURO14.5 billion, it was not surprising that an estimated 700 guests attended the event.

The 74% investment increase was, as it to be expected, fueled by the increase in the number of management buyouts. These deals accounted for 53% of the total investment figure and EURO13.3 billion in actual terms.

In all, 11,253 investments that were made in 1999 by members represented in 17 European countries, this was a 47% increase on the previous year’s figure. With this went an average deal size increase from EURO1.9 million to EURO2.2 million.

The survey’s look at fund raising highlighted the increased interest in anything technology among Europe’s venture capitalists, while the amount of funds raised for non-high tech investment proved similar to those seen in previous years. Fund raising for technology investment at early stage jumped by almost 300% to $5.1 billion and for expansion and development stages it increased in excess of 100%, to EURO3.4 billion.

The U.K. continues to account for the largest portion of European investment with 46% market share and E11.5 billion in actual terms. Germany took 13% with EURO3.2 billion and France 11% with EURO2.8 billion. Germany, where early stage venture capital has been boosted by a number of soft money schemes, allocated 32% of its total investment to seed capital and start-ups. This was the highest figure in Europe. The Germans were followed by the Netherlands (20%), France (18.4%), Sweden (19%), and Italy (8.3%).

Until this year EVCA has released the European Private Equity Survey only on an annual basis. At the end of this year half-year figures for January to June 2000 will be released. Anecdotal evidence is that fund raising is still going well both for established players and those with a new story to tell. Typical investment size as well as number of investments are likely to be the interesting statistics towards the end of this year as will fund performance data.