Private equity focuses on portfolio support as downturn hits Q1 activity
Venture and growth capital investment relatively robust
Brussels, Friday 19th June, 2009
Private equity fundraising, investment and divestment activity fell during the first quarter of 2009, as
investors focus on managing their existing portfolios and commitments. The data, released by EVCA
today, also shows venture capital and financing for SMEs proving more resilient in the face of the
Investment and divestment levels continued to fall, albeit at a slower rate, with €4.6 billion invested in
over a thousand companies in the first quarter of this year, compared with €7.8 billion in 1,145
companies in Q4 2008 – nearly half that of Q1 2008.
Divestments at cost totalled €1.9 billion, of which €950 million represented write-offs, though nearly
€500 million were exits through trade sales. The final quarter of 2008 saw total divestment of €2.3
In terms of funds raised, fund closings in the period totalled €2.5bn in Q1 2009, with €1.3bn going to
buyouts and € 800 million to venture and growth capital funds. This compared with Q4 2008’s total of
€19.6 billion, of which €15.6 billion went to buyouts and €2.5 billion to venture and growth capital
Commenting on the findings, Hanneke Smits of Adams Street Partners, Chair of EVCA’s Investor
Relations Committee, said: “These numbers reflect the full force of the economic downturn that
private equity firms and their portfolio companies are contending with, but they also demonstrate the
resilience of the private equity model in its ability to hunker down and help companies survive difficult
times. Well-capitalised firms are avoiding active fundraising at a time when institutional liquidity is
strained. Nevertheless, in a very difficult quarter the industry still invested nearly €5 billion in
Javier Echarri, EVCA Secretary General added: “It is in very tough markets such as today’s that the
advantages of the long term private equity investment model become most obvious. Historically,
investments made during down cycles have produced the best returns over the long term. This
quarterly snapshot of activity should be viewed in the context of the provision of patient and
supportive capital from ten-year life investment funds.”
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These quarterly data are the first produced by PEREP_Analytics to be published. Henceforth, EVCA
will be publishing PEREP_Analytics’ independent quarterly data on the industry across Europe.
** ENDS **
For further information, please contact:
Astrid Pirlot, EVCA, +32 2 290 00 29, firstname.lastname@example.org
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Notes to editors.
The figures were compiled by PEREP_Analytics, an independent and non-commercial data gathering body
endorsed by 17 national European associations and EVCA.
The 2008 coverage rate for the data released is 91% by capital under management for the private equity firms
with an office in Europe.
European Private Equity & Venture Capital Association
EVCA is the voice of European private equity and venture capital. We promote and protect the interests of close
to 1,300 members, thereby ensuring they can conduct their business effectively
EVCA engages policymakers and promotes the industry among key stakeholders, including institutional
investors, entrepreneurs and employee representatives. EVCA develops professional standards and research
reports, as well as holding professional training and networking events.
EVCA covers the whole range of private equity, from early-stage venture capital to the largest buyouts.
For more information, please visit www.evca.eu.
PEREP_Analytics is a fully functional, centralized non-commercial pan-European private equity database. All
National and Regional Associations in Europe have been invited to join the European Private Equity and Venture
Capital Association (EVCA) in this exercise. The vision is to turn PEREP_Analytics™ into the framework of a
Private Equity Research Exchange Platform among cooperating national and regional associations and the
EVCA where a triple-win scenario can be secured for members, national private equity associations and EVCA.
Full confidentiality of the underlying data is preserved by the associations involved in the exercise. No further
third parties have access to the data. (www.perepanalyics.eu)
Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected for bridging:
the needs of all stakeholders of market approach statistics
the need for accurate, consistent and timely data
the need for timely specific ad hoc analyses and social and economic impact research
the intrinsic private equity market evolution where cross-border transactions are becoming the
norm rather than the exception
the general needs of private equity statistics by international organizations, governments, investors,
Figures are updated on a continuous basis and are thus subject to change.
Bastion Tower, Place du Champ de Mars 5, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium - Tel +32 2 715 00 20 - Fax +32 2 725 07 04 2
firstname.lastname@example.org - www.evca.eu