WHU Private Equity
Conference 2016

Save The Date:
MARCH 21 & 22, 2019


Last Year's Topic

Falling Apart or Growing Together – Is Crisis-Shattered Europe Still Worth the Investment?

Over the last decade, Europe has become known to the world as the perpetually challenged continent. Be it Brexit, the refugee
movement, or several sovereign debt crises – Public frustration and overall uncertainty have steadily increased. These incidents have revealed the fundamental structural weaknesses of the concept that constitutes the European idea.

Shining across the ocean the United States seems to be a better haven for investments due to a less restricted economy and
a predominant entrepreneurial culture. However, all that glitters is not gold. Even though investment possibilities seem to dry up in Europe, they do as well in North America and in fact, over the last years, PE investments in Europe have performed just as well as the ones in the US or even outperformed them.

Nevertheless, there are many factors to be considered. The healthcare and technology industries have seemed to withdraw themselves from the past crises, while other industries have suffered severely even with strong governmental interventions. Besides, geographical factors play a vital role in the investment decision. With value and supply chains spread over the whole continent and further, any due diligence must not neglect the country's risk profile and no less the possibility of Europe breaking apart.

What also scares outside investors is the constantly fluctuating foreign exchange rates. Over many years, the Euro has been a role model of a stable and valuable currency, yet recently it has become more and more of a roller coaster. But in the end, the choice of
the target company has remained to be the very essence of the deal. What the future might and might not withhold for the continent of Europe still leaves a question mark in many minds.

Questions we would like to address during the upcoming conference include:

  • What impact do structural influences between European countries have on valuations?

  • EU subsidies – A waste of public money or a boost of attractiveness?

  • What investment opportunities does the UK yield after Brexit?

  • Country investment focus: Which European country provides the most attractive deal pipelines?

  • European lending and the debt situation/outlook – Will the ECB follow the FED in raising interest rates?

  • Europe vs. US vs. Asia – Which region provides the most attractive valuation fundamentals?

  • Centralized vs. decentralized team/office set-ups – Which operational structure prevails?