Private equity exit values dropped to £23.8bn in 2007 despite increasing by volume as the credit crunch hit secondary buyouts hard in the second half of the year.
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The average exit value was well down in 2007 compared to 2006 – from £80.2m to £59.3m.
Secondary buyouts emerged to account for over half of all exits by value, reaching a record £14.4bn from 124 deals. Mark Pacitti, corporate finance partner at
Trade sales shot up in terms of number – increasing from 156 to 143 – but fell to almost half the value figure of 2006.
Tom Lamb, co-head of
Not much hope is being pinned on the public markets to provide an alternative exit route: the number of IPOs in 2007 was the lowest since 2003 – just 14 private equity-backed companies floated last year, compared to 21 in 2006, 24 in 2005 and 31 in 2004. Safestore was the largest PE-backed IPO of the year with a market capitalisation of £449m. Bridgepoint acquired the self storage provider in 2003.
The least favourite exit route, receivership, saw its highest level of activity since 2003, with 106 companies falling foul.