Private equity-backed buyout deals globally declined sharply in the first quarter, falling to 874 deals worth $44 billion from 962 deals worth $137 billion in the fourth quarter, a post-financial crisis high, alternatives data provider Preqin reported Monday.
All regions experienced decreases in aggregate deal value, with North America plummeting from $100 billion in the fourth quarter to $28 billion.
Asia’s deal value fell from $17.1 billion to $4.5 billion, and Europe’s from $14.9 billion to $10.4 billion.
“Global private equity-backed buyout deal activity slowed noticeably in the first quarter of 2016, especially when compared to the record aggregate values seen in 2015,” Preqin’s head of private equity products, Christopher Elvin, said in a statement.
“With public equity markets weaker than they have been in recent quarters, it is unsurprising that fund managers are exercising caution and the pace of acquisitions, particularly large-cap deals worth more than $1 billion, has reduced.”
The private equity buyout-backed exit market also contracted in the first quarter, Preqin reported, with 343 exits announced globally totaling $62 billion. This compared with 421 exits in the previous quarter worth $72 billion.
Aggregate buyout exit value has now fallen for three consecutive quarters after hitting its most recent peak of $125 billion in last year’s second quarter, according to Preqin.