I INTRODUCTION

By the new standards in place since the peak years of 2007 and before, 2015 was a record year: total deal value, average value per deal and exit values reached record heights. This was due to a strong second half year and some big ticket deals. The total exit value topped the previous year’s record by rising to €153.2 billion. The high deal value is a result of a higher number of €1 billion-plus deals – 19 in 2015 compared to 13 in 2014 – which in turn resulted in a highly increased total value of mega-deals.2 The UK remains far ahead of the rest of Europe, and topped the previous year’s value by over €5 billion (€26.8 billion in 2015; €21.0 billion in 2014).3 As to exits, initial public offerings (IPOs) certainly helped to push the value to the new record high, but among the 10 largest deals there were more trade sales than initial listings. Another record can be found in add-on activities. In 2015, 404 add-ons were counted in comparison to 393 in 2014, with Spain and Portugal having the highest rise in terms of percentage.4

The strong momentum in fundraising continued, reaching €47.6 billion – just below 2014’s €48.0 billion, with 40 per cent coming from investors outside Europe.5 Buyout multiples in Europe sank just below 10 times EBITDA (the 2014 figure). In comparison, acquisition multiples on US leveraged buyouts (LBOs) increased again slightly, from 9.8 times EBITDA to 10.1 times EBITDA, between late 2014 and the first half of 2015.

As the economic situation has not significantly changed, the challenge in 2015 remained the same as in 2014: an abundance of dry powder, and buyers chasing few and even higher-valued targets, which again increased the competition in the market and the pressure on how to produce the expected returns. The industry has thus again been focusing on new business models, as the traditional management methods can no longer realise the usual returns. Mere ‘financial engineering’ has been a thing of the past for quite some time now. Optimising the operations of portfolio companies, for example, with everything that accompanies that, such as upping spending on research and development or tailoring companies to their target customers, is now the answer. Continuing trends also included more buy-and-build-activities, and investments into bank units and whole banks.

In terms of legal or regulatory issues, the market had no major issues to contend with. However, the tightening regulatory requirements in the United States are beginning to make an impact overseas, especially the transparency demanded as to fees and carried interest. Another topic being discussed right now is the Capital Markets Union Action Plan launched by the European Commission in September 2015, through which the Commission is aiming to help build a true single market for capital across the 28 EU Member States.

II FACTS AND FIGURES: EUROPEAN PRIVATE EQUITY (PE) 2015/2016

The 2015 record figures constitute the highest figures since 2007, but are still some way behind those of that boom year. The total value of PE deals rose by over 25 per cent to €80.9 billion from €72.0 billion in 2014, the highest total value since H2 2007. According to CBMOR’s long-term research, there has been a yearly increase of about €10 billion in the total value of PE deals since 2013 (€59.4 billion 2013, €69.6 billion 2014 and €80.9 billion 2015). The average value per transaction of €131.6 million is another record and again the highest figure since 2007, which had, however, closed with a value of €171.1 million. The largest buyouts took place in the UK (seven), Germany (four), France (three), and one each in Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Austria and Spain.6

Belgium also had a strong year, just below its 2007 record value. Denmark ended its year with the highest deal value since 2006, and Switzerland and Austria also saw record values. The UK remains the strongest market: its deal value of €26.8 billion (€21.0 billion in 2014) is more than double that of Germany’s figure (the number of deals in the UK, however, went down from 236 in 2014 to 197). With €10.9 million, the French buyout nearly reached Germany’s figures (Germany: €11.9 million). In 2013, France had reached just about two-thirds of its neighbour’s volume. With €5.9 billion, Q4 was France’s best quarter, constituting the best value since 2007, which is mainly the result of one big deal: Verallia at €2.9 billion (acquisition by Apollo from Saint Gobain in a fierce bidding process). Germany had several big deals, such as Douglas Holding at €2.8 billion, Sivantos/Siemens Adiology Solutions at €2.1 billion, Synlab Services at €1.8 billion and Senvion at €1 billion. The mid-market lost out, though. The total value of deals in the €50 to €500 million bracket was down at about €25.2 billion (€29.4 billion in 2014), and the €10 to €50 million bracket lost €2 million, reaching only €3.3 billion compared to €5.3 billion in 2014. As stated above, the total value of exits rose to a remarkable €153.2 billion. IPOs and trade sales accounted for the exits with the highest values, with record values of €48.7 billion for IPOs and €63.8 billion for trade sales.7 The 10 top exits were made up of six trade sales and four flotations. Secondaries amounted to €40.7 billion. In all, 2,500 European companies were exited.

The record exit market is a result of two particularly strong quarters. In Q1 a record total value for a given quarter at €46.1 billion was reached, and in Q4 the exits amounted to €41.2 billion. In this last quarter, the IPO of Worldpay alone, the largest exit of 2015, accounted for €6.4 billion. Other major exits were the €5 billion exits of Grandvision and Auto Trader in Q1 (both IPOs), Springer Science & Business Media in Q2 and Scout24 Holdings in Q4. Trade sales increased substantially in value, achieving another record with a total value of €63.8 billion (€40.9 billion in 2014). Secondary buyouts also ended at a record value of €40.7 billion, the highest value since 2007. However, in terms of numbers, secondary buyouts dropped from 195 in 2014 to 183.

As to sectors, manufacturing accounted for the highest total deal value since 2008 (€22.6 billion) at €20.7 billion, although the number of deals in this industry was down to 169 from 202 in 2014. Technology, media and telecoms still ranked second, but lost over €4 billion, dropping from €13.9 billion in 2014 to €9 billion. Retail, however, increased significantly from €2.2 billion to €9.5 billion, achieving its highest value since 2007. Business and support services remained consistent, with €9 billion compared to €9.3 billion in 2014.8

Fundraising continued its strong momentum and reached €47.6 billion in 2015, close to the €48.0 billion in 2014, which had been the second-highest level in the past five years. The €150 billion total raised by European PE and venture capital in the past three years was 70 per cent higher than in 2010 to 2012. Over 40 per cent of funding came from investors outside Europe. As fundraising is also strong at a global level, the supply–demand balance for new funds tipped strongly in favour of general partners (GPs) that PE firms have been trying to introduce new fund fees and terms, as these suffered over the past few years. Advent International, for example, dropped the preferred hurdle rate that it would need to clear before it begins collecting carried interest on the US$12 billion fund that it is currently shopping to limited partners (LPs). In Europe, Swedish middle-market firm Valedo Partners upped its carried interest levy from 20 to 25 per cent on its recently closed €210 million fund. It succeeded in closing its Partners Fund II, twice the size of its predecessor fund, in less than six months.9

III SIGNIFICANT TRANSACTIONS AND KEY TRENDS IN EUROPE

i Transactions

2015 saw the return of mega-deals, as the two biggest deals in 2014 had actually being add-ons. Sponsor-to-sponsor sales were up strongly in Europe, but down sharply in North America. The 152 sponsor-to-sponsor exits that occurred amounted to the record figure of US$44.7 billion. Thus, maybe not surprisingly, the two sponsor-to-sponsor transactions in Germany and the one in the UK ranked among the year’s biggest exits through this channel. The German transactions were the acquisition of Douglas Holding by CVC Capital from Advent International with a transaction value of €2.8 billion, and the acquisition of a 70 per cent stake in Synlab from BC Partners by Cinven (€1.8 billion).

For GPs, the abundance of dry powder has also increased the pressure to channel it into new deals, resulting in already-intense bidding battles fuelled by cash-rich strategic acquirers, illustrated by a historic M&A boom. The acquisition of glass bottle unit Verallia from Saint-Gobain by Apollo Global Management illustrates the competition over targets. To acquire the business (valued at €2.95 billion) Apollo had to see off four other bidders – the Portuguese industrial group, Ba Vidro, and three other funds: Blackstone, CVC Capital Partners, and Ardian.10 Global corporate M&A transactions topped US$4 trillion in 2015, an increase of more than 40 per cent, surpassing the 2007 peak.11 As a result, asset valuations soared: buyout funds paid on average more than 10 times earnings before EBITDA to land deals in the US, surpassing the multiples of 2007. In Europe, buyout multiples dipped a fraction below 10 times EBITDA, which they had hit in 2014, but remained near all-time highs. This changed the terms of deals that did reach completion. The most prominent example is the biggest buyout deal that was scheduled for 2015 but that had to be postponed due to the banks’ refusal to market the financing arrangements. The bank syndicate led by Bank of America and Morgan Stanley was forced to postpone the marketing of US$5.5 billion in leveraged loans and high-yield bonds it had underwritten to finance The Carlyle Group’s proposed US$8 billion buyout of Veritas Technologies. The banks abandoned their marketing when they had offered a yield between 11.5 and 12.5 per cent to investors who would buy the debt, and found few takers. The Veritas deal was the 24th buyout-backed deal facing financing problems in 2015. The Carlyle acquisition ultimately went ahead in early 2016 when the deal had been structured in a way more agreeable to the banks and after the asking price had been lowered. Even as acquisition multiples on US LBOs rose slightly, the multiples of debt used to finance new buyouts dropped from 5.8 times EBITDA to 5.5 times EBITDA.12 At US$133 billion in 2015, the value of debt financing for buyouts fell for the first time in six years as the cost of debt on high-yield bonds and leveraged loans increased heavily during the second half of 2015.

ii Key trends

As in 2014, the market concentrated on finding suitable assets, and even more on how to make them profitable, on fee structures and compliance with tightening regulatory requirements on both sides of the Atlantic. Trends that were observed in previous years and that retained or gained momentum included co-investing, extended buy-and-build activities, investments in bank units and whole banks, and the trading in secondaries.

Co-investing alongside a GP is becoming increasingly popular with LPs. LPs use co-investing to influence the GP–LP relationship, for example to pay a lower fee. The downside, though, is that a substantial sum may be hidden, thus concealing how much capital is being deployed and whose interests the GP might represent. On a global level, an estimated US$161 billion of this shadow capital was invested during 2015, the equivalent of 26 per cent of the year’s traditional capital raised. Significantly, four of the nine deals exceeding US$5 billion in the United States were buyouts in which LPs had joined forces with GPs as co-investors.13

Trading shares in existing PE funds has become an important tool for portfolio management. According to Bain & Company research, LPs are increasingly choosing to actively participate in PE buyouts: 58 per cent of LPs acknowledged having bought or sold assets on the secondary market. The trading in secondaries allows LPs to use un-invested capital, and enables them to better diversify their holdings across several fund vintages. The number of non-traditional buyers in this market has nearly doubled since 2013, to 485 in 2015.

Buy-and-build strategies are continuing to enjoy popularity, and the 2015 numbers reflect this. Globally, the value of add-on acquisitions by PE-backed companies more than doubled to a record US$267 billion in 2015, nearly matching the US$282 billion invested in all buyouts during the year. A prominent example is the acquisition by London-based PE firm Cinven of French medical diagnostics company Labco for €1.2 billion, and only shortly afterwards of German Synlab, giving the combined business a value of €2.9 billion.

Another trend that seems here to stay is investment in financial service institutions. US firms have engaged themselves in Europe, resulting in a total increase in deal value of 11.6x since 2003.14

Advent International and Bain Capital, for example, have investments in ICBPI, Nets and Worldpay. They helped Worldpay achieve an impressive 11 per cent annual growth rate in underlying EBITDA, and built its value by £3.2 billion over a five-year period. Bad debt portfolios have also become targets, with UK, Irish, Spanish and Italian banks among major bad debt sellers. UniCredit, for example, sold its bad loan unit UCCMB – with a gross book value of €2.4 billion – to a consortium led by US asset management group Fortress for about €500 million, and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena sold a loan portfolio worth €1.3 billion to Cerberus Capital Management and Banca IFIS. Even though most PE funds prefer to buy business units or loan portfolios, a few PE funds took on full bank balance sheet risks, such as AnaCap Financial Partners with Banco Popolare Ceska (Czechia), Aldermore (UK), Mediterranean Bank and FM Bank (Poland), and Lone Star with IKB Deutsche Industriebank.

As a result of the tightening regulations, PE firms are working on making their fee structures more transparent. In the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission had scrutinised some 400 firms by May 2015, and has taken enforcement action against fund managers and individuals for charging improper fees and expenses, misallocating fees and expenses, failing to disclose conflicts of interest and violating pay-to-play rules.15

Finally, foreign firms, particularly US firms, are looking increasingly to investing in Europe, as valuations and multiples are lower than in the United States. Countries of particular interest are the strongest markets (i.e., the UK, Germany and France). Firms are trying to get a grip on these markets by having people on the ground who know the business, as the two major obstacles to becoming really successful in Europe have been identified as a lack of understanding of the cultural differences and the much stricter labour laws. One major deal apparently foundered as its part for which staff was supposed to be laid off and replaced could not be followed through.16

Going by these trends and observations, the current market conditions are producing more diversified and more effective ways of conducting business.

IV LEGAL FRAMEWORK FOR PRIVATE EQUITY FUNDS IN GERMANY AND EUROPE

i Form of PE fund vehicles in Germany

Through the transposing of the Alternative Investments Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) into national law, Germany established the Investment Code (KAGB), which came into effect on 22 July 2013. As to the legal form of vehicles, German (corporate) law offers various types. Generally, vehicles for funds can be organised in the legal form of a stock corporation (AG), a limited liability company (GmbH) or a special form of a limited partnership (GmbH & Co KG). Furthermore, the KAGB provides variations of the AG and KG, the investment-AG or investment-KG, introducing additional regulations. Generally, the legal form now depends on the specific fund concept with regard to the invested assets of an open or closed-end fund and its circle of investors.

From a practical standpoint and an investor’s tax perspective, the limited partnership in the form of a GmbH & Co KG still prevails. The limited partnership (KG) essentially has two different kinds of partners – LPs and GPs. While the investors subscribe for limited partnerships’ interests thus becoming LPs, the sole GP of the limited partnership is a separate company organised as a GmbH in accordance with the Limited Liability Company Act. With the combination of these two legal forms, investors may combine the advantages of both of them. In particular, a personal liability of the investors can be limited to their liability contribution. According to the German Commercial Code (HGB), LPs are only liable for the debts of the limited partnership up to the liability amount registered with the German commercial register. Since German law does not require a minimum liability amount, only a small portion of the actual capital commitment of an LP is usually registered with the commercial register as the liability amount, and as such is revealed to the public. Once an LP has fulfilled his or her obligation up to the respective liability amount, and has not received a repayment in the meantime, the LP does not assume any further responsibility for the liabilities of the limited partnership in relation to the limited partnership and to third parties. In contrast to the LPs, a GP of a limited partnership can be held liable for all debts and obligations of the partnership without any possible limitation. In a GmbH & Co KG, the GP can be a limited liability company (GmbH), with the effect that the actual liability is limited to the assets of such company. Thus, the shareholders of such limited liability company do not face any further liability except for the obligation to pay in their contributions. Although the liability of the GP of a GmbH & Co KG is, from a practical standpoint, limited to a minimum of €25,000, German law accepts such a construction as a limited partnership once it is duly established and organised, with the consequence that such limited partnership can benefit from legal and tax advantages.

Furthermore, based on the principle of freedom of contract, the limited partnership agreement can be tailored to the objectives of the investors. In general, investors as LPs only have limited information rights compared to other legal forms unless broader information rights have been agreed upon in the limited partnership agreement. The entry and exit of new investors in and out of a GmbH & Co KG are simple and do not require a notarial form. Thus, the accession of a new investor as LP is uncomplicated and cost-efficient. In addition, there are beneficial tax rules if the GmbH & Co KG as a limited partnership is not engaged in business activities for German tax purposes. Finally, the limited partnership agreement does not have to be revealed to the public and, in particular, does not have to be registered with the German commercial register.

The KAGB still permits a GmbH & Co KG as a legal form of vehicle for an external AIFM. In addition, an investment-KG can be organised as a GmbH & Co investment-KG as an internal or external AIFM. From a practical standpoint, time will tell whether the GmbH & Co KG and GmbH & Co investment-KG will prevail. Due to the above-mentioned reasons, it is safe to say that these special forms of a limited partnership will still play an important role in German PE.

In addition to the ‘classic’ legal forms under German law, additional legal forms have also been implemented into German law. For example, a specific investment company is envisaged under a special law (UBGG) that provides several legal privileges, such as tax exemptions to a certain amount. So far, this legal form has not had a large impact on PE investors in Germany.

ii Monitoring of PE funds in Germany

According to the KAGB, AIFMs are now obliged to establish a depositary for AIFs under their management. Such depositary shall, inter alia, review legal title in an AIF’s assets on a continuous basis. The depositary’s obligation is not limited to holding companies, but applies to all subsidiaries in the case of a holding structure within the portfolio. Additionally, the depositary may not solely rely on an AIF’s due diligence, but is requested to also conduct its own review. However, it is still debated to what extent such independent review can be reasonably requested. In the case of an inadequate monitoring, however, the depositary may be held liable.

iii Transactions
Types of PE transactions

From a legal standpoint, the acquisition of stock remained the most important type of transaction. In particular, the LBO is still the most important type of PE transaction. By such LBO, usually the majority, although in some cases only a minority, interest of the target company is acquired by a PE investor, whereas the acquisition is funded only fractionally with equity but is instead leveraged. After the acquisition, the leverage shall be defrayed by the free cash flow of the target company.

A PE investor may also set up a silent partnership with the target company, according to Section 230 et seq HGB. Within such partnerships, the silent partner participates in the profit and the loss of the target company without being obliged to disclose its identity and investment in the target. Depending on the legal form of the target it might, however, be necessary to register the silent partnership with the respective commercial register, and thus to at least disclose the participation of a third party in the target in general.

Disclosure issues

Since 2008, there are stricter disclosure obligations for PE investors in Germany, as listed companies and companies organised as a German stock corporation are no longer the only companies subject to disclosure regulations under German law. Prior to 2008, investors in listed companies already were, and still are, bound by various legal disclosure requirements that do not generally affect a typical PE investor to the extent that no investment in a listed company is intended. In particular, both the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG) and the German Stock Corporation Act (AktG) set up different thresholds for equity holdings in listed companies and companies organised as a German stock corporation, whose reaching, exceeding or falling below of triggers certain disclosure requirements for an investor. According to the German Securities Trading Act, whoever reaches, exceeds or falls below 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 and 75 per cent of the voting rights by purchase, sale or by any other means in a listed company is obliged to notify both the company as well as the competent financial supervisory authority (in particular, BaFin, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). In addition to that, several regulations also address persons who ‘act in concert’ in this regard. Concerning non-listed stock corporations, the German Stock Corporation Act sets out that any enterprise that reaches a threshold of more than 25 or 50 per cent in the capital of a non-listed stock corporation, or that whenever such enterprise falls below such thresholds, it is obliged to promptly notify the stock corporation. If the enterprise fails to fulfil its aforementioned disclosing obligations, it will lose its entire rights rooted in its shares. To make the shareholding structure of non-listed stock corporations more transparent, the German legislator limited the admissibility of bearer shares for non-listed companies by amending the AktG, which came into force on 31 December 2015. Since this amendment came into force, non-listed stock corporations may generally only issue registered shares.

Apart from these existing disclosure rules, additional regulations were implemented in 2008 under the Federal Act to Limit Risks Related to Financial Investments. The main objective of this Act is to restrict the undesired activities of financial investors by enhancing the transparency of their financial transactions without generally eliminating financial investors from such investments. Based on this Act, a potential acquirer shall now be obliged to disclose more information regarding his or her specific intentions with the target; his or her reasons for the respective transaction; and, in particular, the sources of the funds used. The examples used for the Act were similar to the regulations already existing in the US and France, in particular Section 13d of the US Securities Exchange Act. Besides many other reflections in different fields of the law, the Act in particular states that a purchaser of an essential participation – such participation shall be deemed essential once reaching or exceeding a threshold of 10 per cent of the voting rights – is now required to fully disclose the aforementioned information as to the purpose and the origins of funds for the transaction. However, exceptions from such disclosure requirements are possible.

Further, in 2012, German regulatory disclosure requirements for significant shareholdings in German listed companies have been introduced as part of the Act of the Strengthening of Investor Protection and the Improvement of Financial Markets, effective since 1 February 2012. In addition to the already existing disclosure rules in Germany, the main objective of the legislation is to also capture arrangements that in the past were often used to build up positions in a German listed company without triggering existing disclosure requirements. In a nutshell, the disclosure regime in particular extends the existing disclosure requirement for ‘financial instruments’ by also including ‘other instruments’ that do not necessarily qualify as financial instruments but grant the right to acquire voting shares; and introduces disclosure requirements for instruments that do not provide for an enforceable right to acquire voting shares but that make it feasible to at least economically acquire such shares (e.g., by way of an option or similar right). Except for the 3 per cent threshold, the above-mentioned disclosure thresholds (i.e., 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 50 and 75 per cent of the voting rights) also apply for such disclosure rules. The implementation of the EU Amendment Directive to the Transparency Directive into German national law required in particular amendments to the WpHG. Therefore, the WpHG was amended by a law of 26 November 2015. While the disclosure thresholds have remained unaltered, the new regulations provide adjustments to the timing of the notification, the attribution of voting rights as well as the notification obligations for financial and other instruments.

In brief, the following three key disclosure regimes apply in Germany: disclosure requirements for voting shares, instruments granting the holder an enforceable right to acquire voting shares, and instruments that do not grant an enforceable right to acquire voting shares but that make such acquisition at least economically feasible. Due to the fact that these three disclosure regimes are interlinked with provisions on the aggregation of positions held in each of the different categories, the combined acquisition of such instruments does not avoid the respective overall disclosure threshold being met. However, exceptions from such disclosure requirements are generally possible.

Finally, at a European level, besides the above-mentioned implementation of the AIFMD into German law and the additional provisions introduced in the KAGB, the industry is facing further changes in the legal regime. Solvency II (adopted by the European Parliament on 11 March 2014) created new insurance regulations as of 1 January 2016 that require insurance companies to hold more liquid assets, restricting the amount that can be invested in PE. The Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II), the update of the MiFID, was adopted by the European Parliament in April 2014 and published in June 2014 after formal adoption by the Council of Ministers. In addition, on 27 March 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision of the EU Pension Funds Directive (IORP) – IORP II – which shall be transposed into national law until 31 December 2016, and which could have far-reaching consequences for both the funding of pension schemes and the way they are managed.

V OUTLOOK

Valuations seem to be a major concern for LPs and GPs on both sides of the Atlantic, although fundraising is an even bigger one for firms in Europe.17 Strong exit activity is also expected, both in the United States and in Europe. Not surprisingly, the performance, regulation and ongoing volatility and uncertainty in global markets are quoted as being the challenges to come to terms with in the year to come. While a Preqin study18 found that Europe-based managers were the most concerned about regulation, highlighting the long-term impact that the AIFMD and other regulations are having on the European PE market, the respondents in Roland Berger’s outlook on 201619 are, for the first time, more worried about Europe’s political stability. Firms consider that this is vital to their dealmaking decisions. Nevertheless, 64 per cent of companies anticipate more M&A transactions with PE involvement, especially in Germany, Iberia and Italy. Growing numbers of PE managers also think that their industry is back to being as robust as it was before the financial crisis. As to industry sectors, more than 60 per cent of the participants see the technology and media, pharmaceutical and healthcare, and consumer goods and retail as the industries that will yield most deals. Interestingly, the mid-cap segment (up to €250 million), which lost out badly this year, at least in Germany, is expected to see the most deals in 2016. Somewhat in contrast to the developments and the market conditions in 2015, the divesting of existing investments is seen as more important than the development of portfolio companies. In tune with the market conditions, 40 per cent believe their business model still needs adaptation and improvement, and that being actively engaged in the running of the business and decision-making are key factors to their success. The introduction of new products and services has become significantly more important (plus 14 per cent). Cost reduction is, however, lower on the agenda that in the previous year (of the respondents, 9 per cent more see this as less important).

The outcome of the referendum for the Brexit has caused uncertainty in the markets, and it is difficult to project whether this turmoil will have a longer-term impact. In the few weeks after the Brexit decision that now have passed, a dip in UK-related activities could be observed. Nevertheless, the market is confident that, at least in the long run, things will go back to normal.

Anything can happen was the guideline for 2015, and the same is true for 2016. With luck, 2016 might turn out to be an interesting year; it certainly has the potential for new records.

Footnotes

1 Benedikt von Schorlemer and Holger H Ebersberger are partners at Ashurst LLP.

2 Centre for Management Buy-out Research (CMBOR), press release of 21 December 2015: www.equistonepe.com/detail/news-detail?id=517.

3 The 2016 Preqin Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report.

4 Majunke, 28 April 2016: majunke.com/europaeische-buy-build-aktivitaeten-im-jahr-2015-
auf-dem-hoechsten-stand-seit-2011.

5 Invest Europe, press release 10 May 2016: www.investeurope.eu/news-opinion/newsroom/press-releases/activity-data-2015.

6 All figures in this section without particular source reference are from CMBOR, press release of 21 December 2015: www.equistonepe.com/detail/news-detail?id=517.

7 CMBOR, press release of 21 December 2015: www.equistonepe.com/detail/news-detail?id=517.

8 All figures in this section without particular source reference are from CMBOR, press release of 21 December 2015: www.equistonepe.com/detail/news-detail?id=517.

9 Examples on new terms from Bain & Company Inc, Global Private Equity Report 2016.

10 Reuters, 8 June 2015: uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saintgobain-verallia-equity-idUKKBN0OO0EG20150608.

11 Ibid.

12 Ibid.

13 Bain & Company Inc, Global Private Equity Report 2016.

14 Bain & Company ‘Bridge to Bring European Banks to Safer Shores?’, 11 May 2016: www.bain.com/publications/articles/is-private-equity-the-bridge-to-bring-european-banks-to-safer-
shores.aspx.

15 New York Law Journal, 7 May 2015: www.friedfrank.com/siteFiles/Publications/NYLJ_Witzel_Private%20Equity%20Firms%20Under%20Increasing%20Regulatory%20Spotlight.pdf.

16 Kevin Dowd interview, published 12 May 2016: pitchbook.com/news/articles/
qa-cohnreznicks-jeremy-swan-on-north-american-eyes-turning-to-the-european-middle-
market.

17 The 2016 Preqin Global Private Equity & Venture Capital Report.

18 Ibid.

19 Roland Berger, The European Private Equity Outlook 2016: www.rolandberger.com/en/Publications/pub_european_private_equity_mf.html.