Argos Mid-Market Index March 2015: Continued growth in the index, driven by strategic buyers

Argos Mid-Market Index March 2015: Continued growth in the index, driven by strategic buyers

Argos Mid Market Index

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The Argos Mid-Market index has continued to climb in the first quarter of 2015 (+4%) to 8.4x EBITDA.

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Paris, May 19th, 2015

This growth is linked to the big increase in prices paid by trade buyers to 8.7x EBITDA (+9% compared to the 4th quarter of 2014) supported by the continued growth in stock markets and the renewed interest in the Eurozone from overseas buyers, particularly from North America.

 

Conversely, there is a marked disconnection of prices paid by private equity funds (-11% to 7.5x EBITDA) and the number of transactions (-20% in volume terms in the first quarter). This could be explained by the determination of funds not to align themselves with prices offered by strategic buyers for certain assets, as in 2006 and 2007.

In general, M&A activity (in volume terms) remains stable in the Mid-Market, in a more favorable short term macro-economic environment in the Eurozone (ECB monetary policy, fall in the euro and oil price). However, investors still don’t seem to be convinced about more long term perspectives.

“The interesting point in this quarter is the intersection between the graph showing the multiples paid by strategic buyers and that of those paid by private equity funds. Strategic buyers, who are capitalising on strong cash reserves and the increase in stock markets, are ready to pay higher multiples” remarks Gilles Mougenot, Président of Argos Wityu Partners.

Download the complete Index version: March 2015 English version (PDF)

 

About Argos Wityu

Argos Wityu is an independent European private equity group with offices in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Geneva. Since its creation in 1989, Argos Wityu has carried out more than 60 transactions focusing on management buy-outs and buy-ins in small and medium companies. Argos Wityu typically takes majority stakes ranging from €10m to €60m 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 (€1m to €500m 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 €500m),
  • 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: July 22th, 2015

Contacts

Argos Wityu: Gilles MOUGENOT, Raphaël BAZIN
Press: Stéphanie LAFITTE, slafitte@argos.wityu.fund, Tél. +33 1 53 67 20 50
Epsilon Research: Grégoire BUISSON, gregoire.buisson@epsilon-research.com, Tél. +33 1 47 70 30 24

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