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Divestment data

Company divestments

Exit types (e.g. Trade sale, IPO, Write off) are reported by the number of companies divested and their equity amount at cost by stage, sector and geography. Divestment amounts at cost reflect the equity initially invested but do not show any profit on the investment.

Slideshow: Divestment at a glance

2015 Key findings

  • Almost 2,500 European companies were exited in 2015, representing former equity investments (divestments at cost) of €40.5bn. This amount matches the level of 2014, which was until then the highest reported exit volume to date for European private equity.

  • The most prominent exit routes by amount were trade sale (29%), sale to another private equity firm (27%) and public offering (23%). Over 40% of all the divested companies followed these exit routes.

  • Public markets supported again sale of quoted equity on flotation (IPO) for 50 companies. Exits from already listed companies in the form of sale of quoted equity increased by almost 80% to €6.7bn, by amount divested at cost.

  • Exits from venture capital investments represented 40% of all divested companies, remaining at over 1,000 companies and accounting for 5% of the amount divested at cost. The equity amount divested increased by 10% to €2.1bn. Trade sale, write-off, sale of quoted equity or on flotation (IPO), and sale to another private equity firm were the most prominent exit routes.

  • Buyout divestments’ share was 84% of the equity amount at cost and 32% by number of companies. The amount divested remained stable at €34bn and number of companies almost 800. Sale to another private equity firm, trade sale, and sale of quoted equity or on flotation (IPO) were the most prominent exit routes.

  • Growth divestments represented 8% of equity amount at cost and 27% by number of companies. The amount divested increased by 40% to €3.2bn and the number of companies increased by 9% to 660. Trade sale, sale to another private equity firm and write-off were the most prominent exit routes.