New record for Spanish investment

The last year was a record year for the Spanish private equity market in terms of amount invested, according to research by José Martí-Pellón, professor of financial management at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

Total amount invested was around €1.906m in 488 transactions in 410 companies. This was up 43% on 2003’s investment sum of €1.336m.

The top investors in Spain in 2004 included 3i, Apax Partners, BC Partners, Bridgepoint, The Carlyle Group and Permira, which invested a total of €700m representing two-thirds of the total invested during the year.

The pan-European players completed six of the 10 major transactions of the year. These were Permira’s acquisition of Ahold; Apax’s investment with Vista Capital in Itevelesa; Carlyle’s acquisition of Saprogal; Bridgepoint’s acquisition of Cesa and Apax’s investment in Wisdom. Of the domestic players, Mercapital stands out for its buyout in hospital group United Surgical Partners (USP).

This year has started on a high note already with CVC’s acquisition of Mivisa from PAI Partners and Suala Capital and the imminent buyout of Amadeus, which looks set to be the largest buyout in Spain to date.