Private Equity

The ‘Locusts’ Are Back

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    With its competitive, internationally focused companies and stable political environment, Germany is an increasingly attractive investment target for American and British private equity firms.

  • Facts


    • Investment managers expect a 2.4 percent rise in mergers and takeovers involving private equity funds in Germany, compared with a 2.1 percent drop in Britain due to Brexit, according to a study.
    • Private equity firms have $2.5 trillion in capital, of which $820 billion hasn’t been invested yet, according to information services firm Preqin.
    • With the U.S. set to become a more difficult place to do business, Chinese investors will also likely turn more to Europe and Germany, which could trigger brisk bidding.
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Permira/KKR kaufen Deutschlands grš§ten TV-Konzern ProSiebenSat.1
KKR headquarters in New York City. The U.S. investor is buying into consumer research group GfK with an investment of around €300 million. Photo: DPA

Berlin is getting ready to host the world’s biggest meeting of financial investors at the SuperReturn International fair, which starts on February 27. Some 2,000 investment managers, lawyers and lobbyists will discuss the outlook of the private equity sector.

It’s looking decidedly rosy. In fact, financial investors have never had as much money at their disposal as they do now. U.S. and British investment funds in particular are crying out for new investment opportunities and have set their sights on Germany, where politicians were decrying them as “locusts” just a decade ago.

Investment managers expect a 2.4 percent increase in mergers and takeovers involving private equity funds in Germany, according to an exclusive study by management consultancy Roland Berger. That compares with an expected increase of just 1 percent in France and a 2.1 percent decline in Britain, the latter as a result of the upcoming exit from the E.U.


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