Mid-Market multiples hit historically high levels in the first quarter 2018

The Argos Mid-Market index rose by 4.4% to 9.5x EBITDA in the first quarter of 2018.

The increase in multiples is similar regardless of size of the transaction. It is also linked this quarter to the high prices paid by private equity firms to 10.0x EBITDA. Prices paid by strategic buyers are slightly up at 9.2x EBITDA, in line with quoted mid-market companies (to 9.6x EBITDA). This continued increase in multiples is driven by a favourable macro-economic and financial environment and a highly competitive field.

On the other hand, the M&A Mid-Market activity in the Eurozone has seen a sharp decline of 16% in volumes and 28% in value. It appears to be linked on one side to the scarcity of quality acquisition opportunities and on the other hand historically high prices levels for non-quoted companies, which discourages certain buyers.