Stats yet to bear out market sentiment

It is not expected that these concerns will translate into hard statistics until the second quarter of 2001. Figures compiled by Thomson Financial show European buyouts (in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK) totalling 177 with a combined value of $11.2 billion in Q4, 2000, and in Q1 2001 148 deals were recorded at a combined value of $12.8 billion. Both dollar amounts include the debt and equity component of each deal.

Some mega deals are responsible for the jump in total value during Q4 2001, which in turn means that the equity portion of the $12.8 billion figure is necessarily lower than that recorded in Q4 2000. Market participants rightly put this down to the fact that a number of the deals concluded in Q1 2001 will have been on stream in Q4 2000 and as such it is understandable that the figures for the latest quarter do not bear out market sentiment.