Mid-market Argos Index®
The Mid-market Argos Index® tracks the valuation of unlisted eurozone SMEs. The index was launched at the end of 2006 by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research, an online platform for managing M&A transactions on listed companies. Published quarterly, the index catalogs mid-market acquisitions that have taken place during the previous three months.
The index serves as a benchmark for all participants in the unlisted market. It is based on a rigorous methodology and a detailed, individual analysis of each transaction, including the structure of the transaction, the company’s business activity (restated financial information) and transaction multiples. The index is calculated using data from Epsilon Research’s EMAT (Epsilon Multiple Analysis Tool) database, which is based on analyses of more than 8,000 M&A transactions.
Every quarter, based on reliable financial information, Epsilon Research analyzes in detail around 25% of the transactions that meet the criteria for inclusion in the index: acquisition of a majority stake in a eurozone company whose book value is between €15 and €500 million.
“The Argos Index® was born out of the desire to create a database for the unlisted market that would be both methodologically robust and rich in high-quality information. Robustness is the index’s salient characteristic.”
“When the CEO of a company wonders if now is the right time to sell, the Argos Index® supplies essential business cycle information and helps him or her make a decision. The Argos Index® derives its legitimacy from its longevity and independence.”
Founder, epsilon research
“If the Argos Index® is now a benchmark in Europe, it’s because we use information from our EMAT (Epsilon Multiple Analysis Tool) database that has been proven to be reliable. The index has always been based on this methodology. We work meticulously, transaction by transaction, examining documents, analyzing annual reports, reconstituting transactions and building hypotheses.”
Interview with Éric de Montgolfier, CEO of Invest Europe
“The Argos Index® is an important benchmark for valuing unlisted European companies and is based on very reliable data.”
Based on your experience in various investment funds and as CEO of Invest Europe, how do you view the Argos Index®?
The Argos Index® has already been around for 15 years, and I admire its longevity. When I managed investment funds, I systematically consulted the Index as soon as it was published and I used it many times in meetings with investors. The Argos Index® is a market tool that provides a real service, and as it is based on very reliable data, it is an important benchmark for valuing unlisted mid-market companies in Europe. The quarterly Argos Index® publication reports price trends and provides a rational explanation thereof, which is essential.
What are the significant differences between the Argos Index® and the data produced by Invest Europe?
The information produced by the Argos Index® is different from ours. We are interested in investment, while the Index focuses on valuation. We cast the net very wide in the mapping of investments and can say very precisely where the money is coming from, where it will be invested and when. On the other hand, we have not developed the methodology that Argos Wityu and Epsilon have, to know who made the acquisition and at what price. The sample is also different. The Argos Index® focuses on the eurozone whereas we look at the whole continent of Europe. For this reason, the Argos Index® data are complementary to ours.
What is Invest Europe’s specificity and how does the Argos Index® complement the association’s other studies?
Invest Europe has been publishing data for several years in the areas of fundraising, investment and divestment. A few years ago, we joined forces with all the European private equity and venture capital associations to create a data collection platform called the European Data Cooperative (EDC). Using this single platform with a standardized methodology, we can obtain consistent and comparable half-year and full-year statistics across all of Europe. In this way, we can better inform our members, fund managers (GPs) or investors (LPs), policy-makers, regulators and other stakeholders.
We have a team of 15 professionals who collect this multitude of data before processing it. It’s a huge job, as is the work of Argos Wityu and Epsilon to establish the Index.
In sum, our methodologies have the same point of departure: the market values consolidated data.
Argos Wityu is an independent European investment fund that supports companies in the transfer of business ownership. It has assisted more than 80 entrepreneurs, focusing its investment strategy on complex transactions with emphasis on transformation, growth, and close collaboration with management teams. Argos Wityu seeks to acquire majority interests and invest between €10m and €100m with each transaction. With €1bn under management and 30 years of experience, Argos Wityu operates from offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris.
Epsilon Research developed the first online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, aimed at M&A professionals. The Epsilon platform includes data, analysis reports, software and services essential for private company valuation / deal management: EMAT, the largest database of European private company transaction multiples, with detailed analysis of 8,000 M&A deals, ranging from €1m to €500m in value, covering all industry sectors; indices and studies published regularly by Epsilon, including the Argos Index; cloud-based software for managing M&A contacts and projects; valuation of comparables, private equity fund investments.
The Mid-market Argos Index® tracks the valuation of unlisted mid-market companies in the eurozone. Carried out by Argos Wityu and Epsilon Research and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of transactions meeting the following criteria: mid-market (equity value between €15m and €500m for 100%), target based in a eurozone country, acquisition of a majority stake, certain activities excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech).
112, avenue de Wagram
+33 1 53 67 20 50
112, avenue de Wagram
+33 1 53 67 20 50
112, avenue de Wagram
+33 1 53 67 20 63