Headwinds for SME disposals


Between July and September, sales of SMEs and ETIs fell by 11% in volume compared to the previous quarter. Elnur – stock.adobe.com

DECRYPTION – Banks finance less operations carried out by private equity funds.

The sky is starting to darken on private equity. Since the start of the school year in September and the sharp rise in interest rates, banks have become more cautious: they finance acquisitions of small businesses made by funds less easily. In particular, those by debt with leverage (leveraged buy-out, or LBO).

Until the summer, SMEs and medium-sized enterprises (ETI) had been relatively spared from the banks’ greater distrust of the sector; only the largest operations, over 300 or 400 million euros, struggled to find financing. The phenomenon now tends to generalize.

Back to earth

The financial tightening has impacts on the market. “We are seeing a slowdown in the sale processexplains Louis Godron, president of Argos Wityu, a private equity firm. We can expect a drop in sales volumes of unlisted SMEs and ETIs in the fourth quarter. The…

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