The first edition of The Europe 250 from Gain.pro finds that American and British investors dominate European private equity landscape.
Gain.pro, the market intelligence and software innovator delivering a wholly new level of insight into private companies, has announced that private equity firm, CVC, has emerged as the leading European investor in Gain.pro’s inaugural The Europe 250 ranking report and table.
CVC, which currently manages a total €59.1 billion in enterprise value (EV) in Europe, finished ahead of EQT, managing around €47 billion, and KKR, overseeing roughly €38 billion. Notably, CVC has also achieved a record fundraising this year, amounting to approximately €26 billion, and together with EQT and KKR also ranks among the top global fundraisers.
Rob Lucas, managing partner, CVC Capital Partners, said: “Our consistent outperformance across multiple cycles has allowed us to build long-term relationships with the highest quality institutional investors. Over the last 30 years, CVC has developed an international network of 25 local offices and a global team of over 850 professionals. This provides us with a real competitive advantage in making the best investments and creating sustainable value for our investors.”
The Europe 250 is more accurate and comprehensive than other ranking lists. Many existing global investor rankings are based on recent fundraising activity. Gain.pro, in contrast, assesses investments made which enables it to unearth investors from ‘shadow PE’, such as sovereign wealth funds, that are not picked up by traditional rankings. Its novel approach is based on its unique market insights to capture the geographical element as well as the investor specific (fund-related) technicalities. As Gain.pro has the most in-depth asset-level information available in the market, it has been able to base its ranking on the actual size of the underlying portfolio, which it derived with a proprietary Gain.pro algorithm.
A fragmented market
Of the top ten investors in The Europe 250 table, four are headquartered in Europe, five in the US and one in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, American and British investors still dominate with France in third place. Meanwhile German firms are under-represented, given the country’s economic relevance, something which can be explained, in part, by the absence of a mega-fund and the fact that the nation possesses a relatively small mid-market.
The Europe 250 report findings also support the view that the European private equity landscape remains fragmented. As Philip de Vusser, chief operating officer, Gain.pro, explains: “Our analysis shows that there are a huge number of firms involved in the space but we see a lot of local leaders dominating their regions and receiving great returns through locally-focused strategies. So there is a lot happening in the market at the moment and it will be interesting to see how it plays out in the coming years.”
Collectively, the full list of the top 250 investors in Europe are managing approximately €1.2 trillion in European companies. On average, these investors have 28 portfolio companies in Europe, with a median portfolio EBITDA of €43 million. Over the last five years, these investors have invested in more than twice as many new portfolio companies as they have exited. Specifically, there have been approximately 5,670 new investments in Europe, compared to 2,130 exits during the same period.
The ranking of the Gain.pro Europe 250 is determined by the total managed enterprise value (EV) of each investor, calculated by multiplying the number of European portfolio companies by the median portfolio EBITDA and a predicted EBITDA multiple derived from a proprietary valuation algorithm developed by Gain.pro. Moreover, the managed EV is adjusted when the investor primarily engages in minority investments. Investors who have executed less than three investments in Europe between January 2018 and July 2023 are excluded from the ranking. The median portfolio EBITDA calculation only includes companies with a positive EBITDA, and the ranking only includes investors with more than four EBITDA positive investments in Europe. Therefore, this ranking is focused on traditional buyout investments vs. growth investments. Fundraising data, investor entries and exits refer to a timeframe from January 2018 to July 2023. Fundraising data includes investors’ global strategies and is not restricted to Europe only.
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