Study: Private-Equity Buyouts Stay Strong Globally in 2017

Deals on par with 2016, totaling $347 billion, Preqin researchers say, with most action in North America. 

Buyouts backed by private equity kept up their momentum worldwide last year, marking a continued robust climate for mergers and acquisitions generally. In 2017, according to a study from research firm Preqin, there were 4,191 PE deals announced worth $347 billion.

In 2016, deals completed numbered 4,271, tallying $340 billion. Preqin expects that the 2017 total will rise by about 5% once more data becomes available. Despite a strong surge in Q3 2017, it wasn’t enough to best the record for PE buyouts set in 2015, said Christopher Elvin, head of Preqin’s private equity products. The study does not cover takeovers of one corporation by another.

North America generated the most PE M&A activity for the year, with 2,284 deals announced worth $175 billion. Asia recorded a record high for the region mainly due to two huge deals, with 195 deals worth $63 billion.,

Chief among those was the $18 billion (2 trillion yen) acquisition of Japan’s Toshiba Memory, from a group that included Bain Capital and Apple, which was the year’s largest buyout globally and the largest ever in Asia. The other large Asian deal was in Singapore, where an investor group purchased Global Logistic Properties for $12 billion.

By number of deals, the biggest proportion was in industrials (22%), while in terms of price tags, information technology was the leader (19%).

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