UK buyout market fails to impress

UK buyouts recorded their lowest quarter for two and a half years in Q1 2006, according to figures released by KPMG’s private equity group, which tracks UK buyouts with a value over £10m. In total 31 transactions valued at £2.9bn were completed in the UK in Q1 2006.

There were only three deals completed in Q1 valued in excess of £250m and none of these broke the £1bn barrier; 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.

Commenting on the quarter, Mick McDonagh, corporate finance partner at KPMG’s private equity group, said: “The UK 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.”