Argos Index September 2012 : M&A activity at its lowest ever and valuations still losing ground

Argos Index September 2012 : M&A activity at its lowest ever and valuations still losing ground

Argos Index September 2012 : M&A activity at its lowest ever and valuations still losing ground green_squares

Paris, 20th November – In a difficult economic climate, unlisted mid-market valuations have once again fallen to 6.3x EBITDA and M&A activity is at a new low.

The valuations of Euro-zone unlisted mid-market companies continued to fall, from 7,0x EBITDA in the previous quarter to 6.3x this quarter i.e. a cumulative drop of 18% since the beginning of the year.

While the valuations of LBO transactions remained steady – though still weak – compared to the previous quarter, it is the prices paid by industrial buyers, with a drop of 16%, which dragged down multiples and confirmed the climate of uncertainty enveloping economic actors.

Furthermore, M&A activity continued to slump in value (-3%) and in volume (-7%) compared to the previous quarter, almost reaching the lowest level ever recorded since the creation of the Euro zone. Of particular note, the slump in mid-market LBO activity, which lost 47% in volume and in value compared to the same period in 2011.

« These figures reflect the climate of general wariness concerning the outlook for growth in the Euro zone and account, in particular, for the increase, to record levels, of the liquidity of European companies » commented Gilles Mougenot, a Partner in Argos Wityu Partners.


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 €700m 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: February 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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