Management buyout exits set record

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THE MANAGEMENT buyout market fell by a fifth to 460 deals in 1993, but exits rose to their highest level, according to figures published by the Centre for Management Buyout Research.

The Nottingham University research body funded by Touche Ross, the accountants, and Barclays Development Capital said yesterday that the total value of buyouts and buy-ins exited through flotations or trade sales was for the first time greater than the value of new deals completed during the year.

A total of 185 buyouts and buy-ins exited during the year, up slightly on 1992's 178, according to the preliminary annual review from the centre.

Flotations were responsible for the biggest change, with the 33 buyouts and buy-ins coming to market representing the highest total for five years and three times last year's level.

Trade sales saw less of a recovery, but the number of deals with other groups was a quarter up on 1992. The improvement accelerated in the second half.

The value of deals completed in the first three quarters of 1993 was in line with the previous year.

But the absence in the final three months of a transaction as large as last December's Gardner Merchant buyout, left the market value for the full year at pounds 2.81bn - 14 per cent below 1992.

The number of buyouts and buy-ins completed in the second half of the year was 242, compared with 254 in the same period of 1992. But this was a marked increase on the 218 in the six months to the end of June.