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IT secures over a third of EU private equity, VC entries in H1'21

European private equity and venture capital investments focused on information technology accounted for 38% of the total 2,709 announced deals during the first half of 2021, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence shows.

The IT sector had 1,023 entries and gross transaction value of €15.40 billion during the period. IT deals numbered 544 in the first quarter with total transaction value of €5.95 billion, while 479 deals worth €9.45 billion were disclosed in the second quarter.

Compared to the first half of 2020, the number of entries in the IT space and the deal value were up by over 10% and nearly 32%, respectively.

In the second quarter alone, IT deal entries were up 3% to 479 from 463 in the year prior and deal value more than doubled to €9.45 billion from €4.17 billion.

Across all sectors, the first six months saw total European private equity and venture capital investment volume of €99.35 billion across 2,709 deals, compared to 2,333 deals worth €58.14 billion a year prior.

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Among the biggest transactions in the IT sector was the $1 billion series D round of Germany's Celonis GmbH in June, which gave it a valuation of more than $11 billion. Arena Holdings Management LLC, Durable Capital Partners LP, Franklin Resources Inc., Splunk Ventures and T. Rowe Price Associates Inc. participated in the fundraising. Celonis provides business processes software.

Another notable transaction was Siris Capital Group LLC's deal to buy U.K.-based payment services provider Equiniti Group PLC at about £673 million. The court meeting and the general meeting of Equiniti shareholders for the approval of the deal will be held July 19, and the transaction is expected to become effective on or around the fourth quarter.

Additionally, Sitecore Corporation A/S raised $1.2 billion worth of investments from a private placement, which saw participation from returning investor EQT Partners AB along with other investors. Sitecore is a Danish provider of customer experience management software.

Runners-up

After IT, healthcare and industrials were the second- and third-most attractive sectors for private equity and venture capital in Europe.

Healthcare logged a total of 409 deals worth €13.23 billion in the first half. Year over year, the number of deals rose about 24% from 330, while deal values were up from 4.01 billion.

In the industrials space, the number of transactions in the first half grew over 12% year over year to 321 from 286, but deal value was down 59% to €9.41 billion from €23 billion.

During the second quarter, both sectors improved year on year in terms of activity and deal value. Healthcare transactions were up 25% to 215 from 172, and industrial sector entries rose 8% to 152 from 141.

Deal value in both sectors during the second quarter improved more than three times compared to the same period in 2020, with healthcare deal value rising to 8.66 billion from €2.11 billion and deal value in industrials increasing to €4.04 billion compared to about €970 million in the 2020 second quarter.

The U.K. recorded the most number of private equity and venture capital-backed deals with 814 out of 2,709, followed by France and Germany with respective deal entries of 387 and 372.