MBO market accelerates

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The research shows 37 transactions with a total value of £5.42bn were completed in the UK in the final three months of 2004, according to KPMG’s private equity group, which tracks UK buyouts with a value of more than £10m.

Charles Milner, head of corporate finance, said: ‘The last quarter of 2004 was strong across the whole of the UK buyout market. Two deals each over a billion pounds were completed [The AA and Saga], but there was also strong activity in the middle market. There is no sign that this level of activity will let up in the New Year.’

Overall in 2004, 145 larger buyouts were completed with a total value of £19.35bn. Last year saw both the highest value and the highest number of deals for four years and represents an increase of 24% in value and 17% in numbers from the levels of 2003.

Milner added: ‘In 2004, the market has been characterised by strong competition for the best deals, a healthy degree of liquidity realising value from portfolios, and continued interest in the asset class from investors.’

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