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Europe Private Equity Barometer: 3Q 2020

Buyout activity rebounded in the third quarter as lockdown restrictions eased across Europe, according to the latest Unquote Private Equity Barometer, produced in association with Aberdeen Standard Investments.

Buyout levels were almost back to first-quarter figures, signalling a return to the pre-lockdown normal. The market recorded an aggregate value of €40.6bn, which was a considerable jump from the €18.3bn seen in Q2 (across 153 deals) confirming market sentiment that Q2 was a Covid-19 anomaly.

"Completing 785 new deals in excess of £54bn in value would have been viewed as highly improbable around the early stages of the lockdown in March/April, but private equity managers have adapted remarkably well to a 'new normal'," says Merrick McKay, head of European private equity at Aberdeen Standard Investments.

"We weren't surprised at the recovery in private equity deal value in Q3. Managers had been reporting a significant amount of new investment activity from early summer onwards and deal volumes have shown remarkable resilience throughout the crisis – it has been the large-cap space that saw the most dramatic dip, then rebound, in activity during the pandemic."

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