In broad numbers, the total amount of invested capital in European companies in 2021 increased by 51% year-on-year to 138 billion euros. This amount far exceeds the levels recorded in any previous year. Investments were made in 8,895 companies, 13% higher than the average of the previous five years. Out of the companies invested in, 84% were SMEs.
Investments in acquisitions increased by 8% year-on-year to 65 billion euros. The purchase of market shares increased by 28% to 79 billion euros. Of this value, the middle market accounted for 36%. By sector, consumer goods and services received the largest investment in buyouts (20 billion euros), followed by ICT (16 billion euros).
Venture capital investment reached 22 billion euros in 2021, up 70% from 2020. In 2021, there was venture capital investment in 5,334 companies, thus backing around 60% of the total number of companies invested in. Late-stage investments (after the start-up phase) reached a 170% increase since 2020. By sector, ICT is key, representing half of venture capital investment.
In Spain, following the liquidity crisis generated by the COVID, many investors have seen investment opportunities in reviving sectors, such as tourism. In addition, there has been growing investment in the ICT and biotechnology and healthcare sectors. This wave of investment has not discriminated between SMEs and large companies. Thus, investment opportunities may arise not only in the segment of large and medium-sized operations, but also in small operations with a value of less than 5 million.
The small deals market allows the channeling of surplus liquidity from less common investors in corporate acquisition transactions such as family groups, mid-market companies and individual investors, but also allows companies experienced in executing M&A transactions to carry out strategically selected small transactions under the advantageous conditions offered by a buyers’ market.