Argos Mid-Market Index, mid market valuations return to their pre-crisis level
Paris, the valuations of medium sized unlisted euro zone enterprises rose to 7,2x EBITDA at the end of June 2011, bringing it back to its historical average since the creation of the Argos Mid-Market Index. The increase in the Index is driven by the increase in acquisition multiples in LBO transactions which reached 7,6x EBITDA, i.e. +13,5% compared to December 2010. The LBO funds have thus paid 10% more for their acquisitions than have strategic buyers, for which acquisition multiples only rose marginally to 6,9x EBITDA. Not only has the plentiful available liquidity which the funds still have encouraged for the acquisition of attractive enterprises, but as Gilles Mougenot, Chairman of Argos Wityu France underlined: «it also seems to have led them to bet, more strongly that did industrial buyers, on a return to growth of the enterprises », and so to reason often in multiples of expected future results. On the other hand, Mid market M&A activity in the euro zone has, surprisingly, only shown slight evolution since the previous half year and for 18 months, has remained at its 2003/2004 level. The factors which seemed to encourage a revival of activity, in particular the low level of debt of industrial enterprises, only had a limited influence in the face of macroeconomic uncertainties and market volatility which led companies to delay their acquisition projects.
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 (MBO) and buy-ins (MBI) in small and medium companies. Argos Wityu typically takes majority stakes ranging from €5m to €50m in companies with revenue of €20m to €400m. 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. At the end of 2010, Argos Wityu raised its new fund, Euroknights VI, at the hard cap of €400m. The firm has assets under management of €750m allocated to its lower mid market buyout funds and Argos Expansion, the firm’s minority equity and expansion capital fund.
About Epsilon Research
Epsilon Research is the first financial analysis bureau to specialise in European private company M&A/private equity transactions. Its key product, EMAT (« Epsilon Multiple Analysis Tool™ »), is a unique database of European deal analysis reports that includes the detailed calculation of acquisition multiples, accessible via its proprietary IT platform. For its customers (investment funds, banks, corporations, advisors, accountants) it has quickly become a source of reference in Europe for private company acquisition multiples. Epsilon has also developed a number of market intelligence tools: financial databases (M&A transactions, company accounts); sector indices; market studies and analysis; tailored service for private equity quarterly portfolio valuations. Epsilon’s team is composed of Paris and London based corporate finance professionals and financial analysts. For its EMAT database, Epsilon has received the label of Finance Innovation, the Paris-based global financial services cluster.
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 twelve-month rolling basis, it is carried out by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research, and published every six 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)
Argos Wityu: Gilles MOUGENOT, Karel KROUPA
Press: Céline LANOUX, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel. +33 1 53 67 20 50
Epsilon Research: Grégoire BUISSON, email@example.com, Tel. +33 1 47 70 30 24