The executive behind Europe’s largest buyout deal in nearly five years has hit out at the high prices Private Equity firms are having to pay in their pursuit of assets.
H&F’s offer represents a roughly 30 per cent premium to the unaffected share price of Nets, or 24 times net income. However, it is only a modest increase from the $4.5bn valuation Nets received when it when public nearly a year ago. Buyout funds are sitting on a record amount of cash, fuelling pressure from their investors to deploy the capital. Industry insiders have cautioned that the amount of debt a company carries relative to its earnings has crept back up to all-time highs, meaning the deals could potentially go sour if the companies do not perform as expected or interest rates rise dramatically.