Troubled Germany heads European buy-out league

A SHARP fall in the total value of management buy-outs in Europe in 1995 has been recorded by a newly published survey.

But Germany and the Netherlands stand out as buoyant countries for buy-outs in what is being described as a steady year by the publishers of the European Buyout Review 1996.

The review, produced by specialist information publishers Initiative Europe and the University of Nottingham, says the estimated market value of buy-outs fell to £3.6 billion in 1995 from £4.5 billion in 1994. According to the report, the fall is a result of the fact that there were fewer “mega deals” in 1995.

Middle market deals, with a value of £5 million to £25 million, held up well in 1995, with the same number of transactions recorded in that size range as in 1994.

Growth in the number of deals in Germany – from 59 in 1994 to 74 in 1995 – is seen by the report as a clear signal that Germany is becoming more prone to buy-outs.

“Corporate Germany, faced with renewed economic problems, is becoming more open to the idea of divesting subsidiaries – something that has long been seen as taboo,” said a spokesman for the survey.