U.K. Buyout Market Fails To Impress

U.K. buyouts recorded its lowest quarter in two and a half years in Q1 2006, according to figures released by KPMG’s private equity group, which tracks U.K. buyouts with a value of more than £10 million. In total, 31 transactions valued at £2.9 billion were completed in the U.K. in Q1 2006.

There were only three deals completed in Q1 valued in excess of £250 million and none of these broke the £1 billion barrier. The deals were The Formula One Group (£583m), The Peacock Group (£463m) and Hellermann Tyton (£303m.) Of these The Peacock Group was one of only two public-to-private transactions to take place, the other being Inventive Leisure (£73m.)

Also, despite all the headlines being made by private equity bids for large public companies, few of them have been accepted, and those that have are pending rather than completed.

Mick McDonagh, corporate finance partner at KPMG’s private equity group, said, “The U.K. is a mature market and we expect to see roughly 30 to 40 deals each quarter. This quarter is at the bottom of the range and the lack of big deals around the billion pound mark has had a big impact on the total and average values. I still expect other quarters this year to post some high values, but we’re unlikely to see a step change in the number of deals.” —A.S.