Buy-outs in continental Europe soared 45% in 1994 to (pounds) 4.55 billion ($7.3 billion), according to Europe Buyout Review, an annual survey by Initiative Europe Ltd., London, and the Centre for Management Buyout Research at the University of Nottingham.
The survey also found U.K. buy-outs grew in value by 29% from the previous year, to (pounds) 3.67 billion, or 45% of total European buy-out activity.
A few large buy-outs, such as the (pounds) 351 million Nutreco deal and the (pounds) 270 million Tarkett buy-out, buoyed the continental European figures.
France was the strongest continental market, with 116 deals valued at (poundS) 1.08 billion. But Germany, ranked second, saw stronger growth, nearly doubling in value to (pound) 733 million, from (pounds) 397 million in 1993, according to the survey.
The market there appears to be opening up, the survey said.
Sweden recorded a 31% increase in buy-out deals to (pounds) 494 million. Even more Scandinavian activity is expected this year.
The sale of company divisions provided the greatest source of buy-outs, accounting for 41% of recorded deals.
Divestments are being driven by post-recession restructurings and pressure being placed on corporate managements by institutional shareholders, the review said.