UK MBO market still buoyant

There were 35 buyouts in Q1 2005 with a total value of £4.78bn, according to KPMG’s Private Equity Group. Charles Milner, head of corporate finance at KPMG, said: “After the upturn in 2004, the market has now plateaued out at a healthy level of activity. A generally benign economic outlook and a liquid, well-priced debt market have supported this solid performance. It is still very much a sellers’ market with considerable competition for the best deals.”

The four largest deals in Q1 were public-to-private transactions: Warner Chilcott (£1.67bn), Big Food Group (£594m), National Home Properties (£564m) and Countryside Properties (£354m). In total these made up £3.18bn, or 66%, of the £4.78bn total.

Secondary buyout activity also remains buoyant. Milner said: “This secondary buyout activity should not mask the fact that an average of over £3bn has been invested in primary leverage buyouts in each quarter of the last year.”