Western Europe M&A Review, January 2018

  • Western European M&A at new 12-month-low
  • PE and VC value supported by PAI Partners

Zephyr reports on Western European M&A and private equity activity in January 2018

The value of Western European mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in January 2018 fell to a new 12-month-low, according to information collected by the leading M&A database Zephyr. In all, there were 1,562 deals worth a combined EUR 48,678 million, compared to 2,172 deals totalling EUR 124,848 million in December 2017.

Zephyr shows that only seven deals were worth more than EUR 1,000 million in January. The largest deal by value featured Bermuda-registered, family-owned Bacardi announcing a EUR 4,160 million acquisition of Patron Spirits International, the Swiss spirits manufacturer known for its premium tequila. The second- and third-largest deals of the month were intra-regional, with Sanofi announcing the public takeover of Belgium’s Ablynx for EUR 3,900 million and Tele2 launching a bid to take Com Hem Holding private for EUR 2,749 million.

The Zephyr database shows that private equity and venture capital (PE and VC) investment in companies based in Western Europe failed to improve on December as activity fell back to 197 deals worth a combined EUR 3,715 million from 267 deals valued at EUR 20,358 million. The decline in value would have been worse if not for the institutional buyout of Albea Services of France by PAI Partners for EUR 1,248 million.

Lisa Wright, Zephyr director, commented, “While M&A and PE investment in January was certainly a disappointment, it is good to see analysts sharing positive opinions on the year ahead as expected economic growth and healthy equity and debt markets should create confidence in pursuing M&A within Western Europe. Zephyr shows that already this year there have been a number of megadeals announced globally, particularly in North America and Far East and Central Asia, so hopefully this boom will spread to Western Europe shortly.”

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