Spain sees record private capital dealmaking in first nine months of year, fundraising falls

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Spain has seen a record amount of private capital invested in the country over the first nine months of the year, with almost €6bn committed to deals according to new research by the country’s PE and VC trade body.

The €5.89bn invested across 549 companies is a significant rise on the €5.45bn recorded over 522 deals in the same period last year, data from the Spanish Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (ASCRI) shows.

Last year’s Q1- Q3 figures were themselves a record, and the first time annual private capital investment in the country had exceeded €5bn, ASCRI said at the time.

Large transactions of more than €100m of equity increasingly dominate investments in the country, accounting for more than 70 per cent of volume across 16 deals, according to the report.

One of the biggest Spanish deals of the year to date saw Carlyle pick up a 30 per cent stake in oil and gas major Cespa from the Abu Dhabi sovereign investor Mubadala in a deal Reuters pegged at about $3.6bn including debt.

Earlier in the year CVC tapped its €16.4bn Fund VII to back Spanish private education provider Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio, although the buyout price was not made public.

Venture capital investments amounted to €543.8m in the first nine months of 2019, representing a 42 per cent increase with respect to the same period of last year.

International funds continue to be the biggest private capital investor in Spain, being responsible for 80 per cent of volume across just 77 deals.

Domestic funds closed on 396 investments, representing 19 per cent of total capital, while domestic state-backed private capital funds led 76 investments for just one per cent of total value.

ASCRI said the middle market – transactions with an equity investment between €10M and €100M – had “excellent behavior”, with a total volume of more than €1.18bn in 46 investments.

That was down on the same period last year, however, which recorded figures of €1.33bn across 49 deals.

Of the total number of transactions recorded, 83 per cent received less than €5m in equity.

Fundraising saw a fairly dramatic slide in the first three quarters of 2019, however, with just over €1bn collected.

That was well down on the €1.57bn gathered in the first nine months of 2018, ASCRI’s figures show.

Significant Spanish fundraises to date this year include the €150m hard cap close for Nazca Capital’s Fund V in June.

ASCRI says its mission is to develop and foster capital investment in unlisted companies. The association, headed by Altamar partners Co-CIO and managing partner Miguel Zurita, currently has 180 members.

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