Feb. 19 2019 — This issue begins by looking at the decline in the number of completed deals in EMEA from Q4 2017 to Q4 2018, accompanied by a double-digit decline in capital deployed. Challenges were evident in the UK and Southern Europe, in particular, although the UK had the highest number of closed deals in the region, underscoring the small size of investments.
LatAm is then featured, which has struggled to attract significant levels of PE capital from European (EU) GPs, especially when compared to North America, the UK, and the rest of Europe. EU GPs have also consistently deployed capital into LatAm’s lower mid-market (€0mn - €50mn), with all but one deal falling here in 2018. A country shift is anticipated for 2019 as well, with increased upside potential in Brazil and growing downside risks in Mexico.
We then look at the Retail sector 10 years after the financial crisis. GP investments in both EMEA and North American targets have slowed, with a slight shift in focus towards the APAC region. A turbulent past three years in EU Retail has impacted traditional brick-and-mortar targets, as well as Internet Retail. The current political and macroeconomic environment in Europe, particularly in the UK, is forcing GPs to cautiously select and time both their investments and exits.
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Once again we have conducted a survey of PE professionals to gauge industry expectations for the upcoming 12 months, and the findings are discussed in the final section of this report. In contrast to 2017, sentiment has reached an inflection point, and professionals are prepared for a more challenging investment climate in 2019. The risks are unique to each region, but a cloudy backdrop is a concern for investors. The need to pivot strategies and address risks is apparent in how respondents are expected to conduct themselves in 2019.