Acquisition prices of non-listed European SMEs remain stable at a historic high (10.0x EBITDA)

!#!24/07/2019 – France – Press Release!#!

Paris, July, 24, 2019

Argos Wityu, the European independent private equity group, and Epsilon Research, the online platform for the management of unlisted M&A transactions, today published the mid-market Argos Index® for the 2nd quarter of 2019. This index, launched in 2006, measures changes in the valuations of Eurozone private mid-market companies in which a majority stake has been acquired during the last six months.

Download Argos Index June 2019

Baisse de l’activité M&A en Europe au 1er semestre 2019

In the 2nd quarter of 2019 the mid-market Argos Index® remained stable at a historic high of 10.0x EBITDA.

However, this stability conceals three differences:

  • Multiples paid by strategic buyers fell slightly to 10.3x EBITDA, while multiples paid by private equity funds remained relatively stable (9.5x EBITDA in the 2nd quarter).
  • These multiples contrast with those for listed mid-market companies, despite their 2nd-quarter increase to 8.8x EBITDA(1), in line with the growth of listed market indexes(2).
  • Valuation multiples for transactions between €150m and €500m continued to rise during the quarter, while transactions between €15m and €150m declined.

(1) Source: InFront Analytics

(2) The EURO STOXX® TMI Small Index rose by 1.7% in Q2 2019

M&A activity in Europe slows in the 1st half of 2019
In the first half of 2019, mid-market M&A activity showed a moderate 20% decline in value in the Eurozone, while the same segment fell 48% in the United Kingdom, due to the lack of visibility as to the terms of Brexit, scheduled for the end of the year, and total M&A activity, all segments combined, dropped 57% in Europe.

About Argos Wityu

Argos Wityu is an independent private-equity group with offices in Brussels, Frankfurt, Geneva, Luxembourg, Milan and Paris. Since its creation in 1989, the group has invested in more than 75 mid-sized companies (Enterprise Value ranging from €25M to €200M). Its majority ownership investments range between €10M and €100M. With €1Bn under management, the group develops a unique investment strategy focusing on business transformation and growth, instead of financial leverage, and on bringing solutions to complex business and shareholding situations. Its entrepreneurial approach is characterised by a close relationship with management teams and strong support to help them implement their strategic plans.


Coralie Cornet Head of Communications +33 1 53 67 20 50

About Epsilon Research

Epsilon Research developed the first online platform for the management of non-quoted M&A transactions, aimed at professionals: M&A advisers, private equity funds, valuators, corporates. The Epsilon Platform includes data, analysis reports, software tools and services essential to 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, such as the Argos Index;
  • Cloudbased software for M&A contacts and project management (“M&A CRM Suite”); and for valuation projects (comparables, private equity fund portfolios).

About Argos Index® mid-market

The Argos Mid-Market Index measures the evolution of euro zone private Mid-Market company valuations. Carried out by Epsilon Research for Argos Wityu and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of Mid-Market M&A transactions in the euro zone. The sample of transactions is selected using the following criteria: acquisition of a majority stake, target based in a euro zone country, Mid-Market (equity value in the €15m-€500m range), certain activities excluded (financial services, real estate, high-tech), availability of relevant target financial data.

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