Software and retail lead 2012 exit league

Source: unquote | 03 Dec 2012
European exits by sector 2012 year to date

General retailers and software & computer services lead the exit rankings for 2012.

Divestments of general retailers have generated the most exit value for private equity so far this year, while software & computer services leads the table by volume.

With 42 divestments in the first 11 months of 2012, exit activity in the software & computer services sector was more than double that of the general retail sector, which comes fourth in the exits league table by volume. Most software exits occured in the first half of the year.

Value-wise, however, the trend reverses: general retail takes top spot, while software & computer services ranks fourth. June is the month that saw most activity in terms of value – this is however exclusively down to the partial sale of AXA Private Equity and KKR's Alliance Boots to US firm Walgreens for £4.3bn.

The high valuation of retail assets is certainly skewed by the Boots sale, an established brand in the UK. Yet, retailers selling non-discretionary goods are seeing increased interest from investors due to economic circumstances and low consumer confidence, which adversely affect overall spending.

Support services and healthcare equipment & services rank second and third respectively in terms of both value and volume of exits.

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