Private equity dealmaking records robust January despite lowest volume level in 12 months

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Global private equity dealmaking value returned a robust result in January despite the volume of deals slumping to its lowest result in a year, new research shows.

The $40.6bn of PE deals recorded in January was up 20 per cent year on year according to data from Moody’s subsidiary BvD, and kept pace with traditionally busier months across the latter half of 2019.

January’s figures were down compared to the standout result from December, which saw 650 deals worth an impressive $74bn signed off.

December is traditionally a busier month for PE deals than January, however, with a month-on-month decline having taken place every year since January 2006.

BvD said that eight of the top 20 PE deals by value were worth $1bn or more in January, with five exceeding $2bn and the biggest topping out at $5bn.

That sole giant deal saw Insight Partners agree to pick up the remaining stake in Cyprus-based Veeam Software.

Seven of the top 20 PE deals signed off in the month under review targeted US-based businesses, including the second-largest transaction, which saw Stone Point Capital and Further Global Capital Management teaming up to buy a majority holding in financial advisory firm Duff & Phelps from Permira for $4.2bn.

That was followed by KKR increasing its stake in German magazine publisher Axel Springer from 45 per cent to 100 per cent for $4.15bn.

Insight was the only PE investor to feature more than once in the top 20 deals by value, as it also picked up US-based Internet-of-Things software-as-a-service provider Armis for $1.1bn.

Companies based in the US were once again the most popular targets of PE investment in January, having featured in 138 deals worth a combined $13.8bn, compared to 119 deals worth $18.9bn in December.

Cyprus was second due to the Veeam deal, while Germany placed third with $4.95bn.

By volume, China was the second most frequently targeted, having featured in 79 deals in January, and the UK was targeted in 65 deals, while Japan, India and South Korea were also popular with 46, 29 and 23 deals respectively.

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