2011 brought an increase in buyout multiples, marking the second straight year of growth and exceeding 2006 levels, coming in at 9.05x EBITDA. Debt financing was accountable for much of that, at 6.2x EBITDA, with equity making up 2.8x EBITDA. Healthy balance sheets and a push for growth were two significant factors contributing to this trend.
Meanwhile, the leverage used on deals under $1 Billion dropped significantly in 2011, no doubt due to difficult access to leverage and an overall insecurity in the debt markets. Deals over $1 Billion on the other hand moved in the other direction, widening the gap between the two.