Brussels, Belgium – 28 August 2015 – A record 290 companies in Central and Eastern Europe received private equity and venture capital investment in 2014 as capital invested by funds across the region increased by 66% on previous year to €1.3bn, according to new data released today by the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA). At the same time, fundraising increased in 2014 more than threefold to €1.5 billion and exits stood at €1.3 billion (measured at original cost), up 32% on previous year.
The figures come from the Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) Statistics 2014 report, a 50-page paper tracking private equity and venture capital activity in the region. The data shows a broad improvement in private equity fundraising, investment and divestment activity in CEE, with rising participation from domestic and regional investment firms, as well as increased interest from pan-European and global private equity investment groups.
“Private equity and venture capital investment activity in CEE more than lived up to expectations in 2014. A record number of companies received investment in 2014, driven by strong venture capital investment across the region. Larger investments also prospered as demonstrated by the sharp rise in buyout activity and the first €1bn enterprise value investment in CEE since 2009,” EVCA Chief Executive Dörte Höppner said.
The significant findings from the CEE Statistics 2014 report include:
– Buyout equity investments increased 120% to €935m in 2014.
– Total private equity and venture capital fundraising increased more than three-fold to €1.5bn, the highest total since 2008 and the fourth best result ever.
– Divestments increased by 32% in 2014 to €1.3bn (at historical investment cost), the second-highest level recorded in the region.
“The figures in the 2014 report underline the encouraging macroeconomic trends in the region. Higher GDP growth rates, low inflation and falling unemployment in many CEE countries created an attractive backdrop for private equity firms and international investors to focus on region. We encourage more investors to investigate the attractive opportunity CEE presents,” said Robert Manz, Chairman of the EVCA CEE Task Force.