The number of private equity exits held up well in 2017 with 352 exits achieved in 2017 compared to 360 in 2016, according to drxDATA, a Drax proprietary data platform.
There was a particularly strong performance by secondary buyouts, with 170 taking place in 2017 compared to 153 the previous year.
There was also an increase in the number of IP0s taking place with 20 in 2017 compared to 15 in 2016, an increase of a third.
However trade sales fell from 155 in 2016 to 131 in 2017.
Commenting on the figures, Drax managing partner Graham Roadnight said: “Private equity exits have held up well in 2017 despite the highly competitive market place and the uncertain economic and political background of the past year. This is extremely encouraging news both for the industry and for investors going forward. Valuations have also remained strong, as shown by the continuous IPO activity. The only decline was in trade sales, which suggests that private equity’s drive for higher returns is pricing traditional UK trade buyers out of the market.”
Samuel Robberts, Head of drxDATA added: “We expect exits to continue to hold up well in 2018 although there may be a shift in focus as the market moves into a fund-raising phase and investors seek to exploit readily available capital. This means that the number of investments made is likely to accelerate through the second half of year as this newly raised capital is deployed. External factors such as the potential impact of Brexit may lead to some caution amongst investors, particularly as consumer confidence continues to be low, however the opportunities for investment, particularly in secondary deals, continues to remain strong.”
Figures for Q4 2017 showed a decline on the previous years volume as both funds and houses look to prepare to make the most out of recent funds raised amid cautious optimism that Brexit will not disrupt the market.
drxDATA is a proprietary platform owned by Drax which can be used to develop unique data sets which provide insights and analysis for clients.