Argos Index December 2012 – Stable valuations and a slight increase in M&A activity

Argos Index December 2012 – Stable valuations and a slight increase in M&A activity

Argos Index December 2012 – Stable valuations and a slight increase in M&A activity green_squares

Paris 26th February 2013 – The unlisted mid-market valuations in the Euro zone remain stable at 6.3x EBITDA whereas M&A activity is at an historically low level for the year 2012 in spite of a rise in the last quarter.

slideshow indice dec 2012Although stabilized in the 4th quarter at 6.3x EBITDA, the Argos Mid-Market Index suffered a decrease of 18% over the year (from 7.7x to 6.3x EBITDA).

After a drop in the previous quarter, the prices paid by industrial buyers remained steady at 6.3x EBITDA. In the past five half years, the volume of acquisitions by foreign buyers has remained high, as they have profited, in particular, from the low activity of the Euro zone industrial buyers.

It should be noted that Asian purchasers have been particularly active, as they were responsible for a third of the transactions undertaken by industrial buyers in the 2nd half of the year.

The valuations of LBO transactions grew by 7.5% to 7.1x EBITDA, as the funds targeted companies with strong potential. This did not, however, influence the overall evolution of the Index because of the small number of transactions undertaken.

Lastly, although 4th quarter M&A activity rose in relation to the 3rd quarter, a comparison between the years 2011 and 2012 makes clear that activity in 2012 was at an historical low
(-10% in volume and -20% in value).

« The upturn in the M&A market does not totally reassure purchasers who remain extremely prudent because they fear a prolonged recession in the Euro zone » comments Gilles Mougenot, President of Argos Wityu Partners.


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About Argos Wityu

Argos Wityu is an independent European private equity group with offices in Paris, Milan and Geneva. Since its creation in 1989, Argos Wityu has carried out more than 50 transactions focusing on management buy-outs and buy-ins in small and medium companies. Argos Wityu typically takes majority stakes ranging from €5m to €50m in companies with revenues of €20m to €400m.

With €675m under management, the firm has developed a track record of unusual, complex and off market transactions where the firm’s combination of local presence and international experience is able
to add value to the small and medium-sized businesses it invests in.

About Epsilon Research

Epsilon Research is an independent research and financial analysis bureau specializing in the M&A/ private equity markets. It provides research, deal analysis and market intelligence on private company M&A and LBO transactions.

Its key product, EMAT («Epsilon Multiple Analysis Tool™ »), is the largest database for European private company transaction multiples, with detailed analysis of 5,000+ M&A deals (1 to 500 m€ value) covering all industry sectors. It has quickly become a reference source for its customers (investment funds, banks, accountants, M&A advisors).


About the Argos Mid-Market Index

The Argos Mid-Market Index measures the evolution of European private mid-market valuations. Based on the median of historical EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, it is carried out by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research, and published every three months. The transaction sample fulfils the following criteria:

  • mid-market companies (equity value between €15m and €150m)
  • target based in a euro zone country
  • acquisition of a majority stake
  • specific industries excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech)


Next Argos Mid-Market Index: May 2013

Contacts Argos Wityu: Gilles MOUGENOT, Karel KROUPA
Press: Céline LANOUX,, Tel. +33 1 53 67 20 50

Contact Epsilon Research: Grégoire BUISSON,, Tel. +33 1 47 70 30 24

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