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Alternative Market Briefing

Other Voices: Private equity ends 2020 on a high

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

By: Ian Bagshaw | Oliver Brahmst | Daniel Yeh

Global private equity dealmaking continued its dramatic return to form in the fourth quarter, posting a strong finish to the year. Total deal value in Q4 came to US$336.5 billion, a 40% increase on the same quarter in 2019, while volume climbed 12% to 1,510 deals over the same period.

The robust performance in the second half of the year has allowed PE value across the year to rise above the total in 2019. PE deals totaled US$555.1 billion in value across 2020, a 5% rise on 2019, although volume over the same period fell 18% to 2,042 deals. This was a remarkable feat, considering the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the sluggish levels of activity in the first half of the year, highlighting a resilience within the market as PE firms quickly adapted to their new reality.

Buyouts-both primary and secondary-were especially active in the last three months of the year, with 1,044 deals worth a total of US$211.3 billion, a 17% rise in volume on the previous quarter and a 33% increase in terms of value. This stands in contrast with exit value, which-after a strong Q3-saw value fall 22% quarter on quarter to US$182.3 billion, even as volume climbed 37% over the same period to 690 deals.

European payment activity heats up

The strong Q4 performance was boosted by healthy activity in Western Eur......................

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