Italian PE on the up

The Italian private equity market continues to grow, with figures released by AIFI, the Italian private equity association, showing the number of buyouts climbed from 48 in 2004 to 75 last year, an increase of 56%.

AIFI also looked at the economic impact of private equity, and found that between 1996 and 2004 the number of people employed in Italy by private equity-backed companies increased by an average of 8.4% against a national employment growth rate of 1.1%.

Buyout companies performed particularly well. Those subject to private equity-backed buyout increased by an annual average of 10.7% in the same time frame, a significantly faster rate than the medium enterprises benchmark of 0.3% and the 1.1% national employment growth.

PE-backed buyout businesses also performed better financially in the same time frame, with revenues for companies the subject of private equity-backed buyouts increasing on average 10% a year compared to the 3.3% of the medium enterprises benchmark. EBITDA over the same period grew on average by 14.3% for PE-owned businesses with the medium enterprises benchmark recording -4.1%.

It’s a similar story for venture-backed companies. Those receiving VC investment increases staff by an average of 6.5% against a national employment growth rate of 1.1% and 0.1% for the medium enterprises benchmark. VC-backed companies increased their revenue by 24.3%, almost eight times higher than the medium enterprises benchmark of 3.3%. The growth rate experienced was 6.0% compared to the medium enterprises benchmark of -4.1%.