Q1 Numbers: PE Deal Volume Down by Half From Last Year

Download an depth spreadsheet of worldwide quarterly M&A going back to 1985, after the jump.

The grand total of global buyout deals done in the first quarter was 523 compared to 1,055 for the first quarter of 2008. That’s the lowest number of deals in a quarter since 2003. It’s interesting to note that even in 2008 and the back half of 2007, deal volume topped 1,000 every quarter, until Q4 of last year, which saw 757 deals. The decline continues…

Private equity deals as a percentage of total M&A were at their lowest level since 2000 in the first quarter of ’09. Buyouts represented a mere 3.4% of all M&A this quarter, a number last seen in the Q2 of 2000. Our data goes back to 1985, and since then buyout deals as a percentage of total M&A has dipped below 2% just five quarters out of 96. Those instances happened between 1991 and 1994. It’s fallen below 4% in 27 of the 96 quarters. For context, the percentage of buyout deals as a percentage of the total hit record highs during the boom years, shooting up to 24.1% in Q4 of 2006.

Naturally, deal value saw another sharp drop this quarter. The value of buyout deals was $15.8 billion, down from $22.5 billion in Q4 and 76.3 billion in Q1 of 2008.

You can download the spreadsheet here:

Quarterly Buyouts Data Q1 2009

And we also have a more in-depth spreadsheet that breaks out M&A by region and includes top line numbers. Download that here:

Historical M&A Data Q1 2009