One of published indices of unquoted company achieved exit multiples has recently been published and shows a record level.
Argos Soditic is an independent European private equity Company supporting management buyouts of medium sized companies and has offices in Paris, Geneva, Milan and Brussels. The Argos Index measures the trends of euro zone private mid-market company valuations. Carried out by Epsilon Research for Argos Soditic and published every three months, it reflects median EV/EBITDA multiples, on a six-month rolling basis, of mid-market M&A transactions in the euro zone.
It has shown steady growth since 2013 and the latest end June results are a record 9.9x.
Before you get geared up to sell your company for this multiple you need to dig into how these indices are constructed. Bear in mind that this is a basket of different types of companies, and is categorised more by the size of deals and the availability of data (always an issue in private company valuation reporting). The index targets deals in the 15M to 500M range for EuroZone countries and only deals where a majority stake has been acquired. It also excludes some industries such as financial services, real estate and interestingly "high tech" (which it doesn't define). The latest results are based on deals with an average Equity Value of 142M Euros.
However as with all indices it's the trend that's useful - and it's certainly a reason to be cheerful.
PEM Corporate Finance's regular publication "Valuation Snapshot" tracks Argos and other indices to take the temperature of private company sales prices on an approximately quarterly basis. Here's a link to the latest one. If you have a look you'll see that what's also interesting is how the various indices diverge from time to time and why.