Private equity and Venture capital: investments more than halved

2023 was not a good year for acquisition operations by companies private equity and venture capitaleven if upon closer inspection it is the “large operations” that disappear, while it is confirmed dynamic the market of “excellent” mid and small capsmore numerous in Italy than elsewhere.

“After an exceptional two-year period in terms of the amount invested, especially with reference to the infrastructure sector, in 2023 there is a decline in large operations,” he explains Innocenzo CipollettaPresident AIFI, specifying that “Italy confirms its attractiveness in the mid market segment, made up of excellent companies”. “The lack of large investments in infrastructure and the lack of debt for large buy-out operations are the main factors that characterized the 2023 market,” he confirms Francesco GiordanoPartner of PwC Italy and Private Equity Leader.

Despite a terrible 2023, signs of recovery are already emerging in the first months of 2024.

Collection in sharp decline

In 2023 the collection of private equity and venture capital was equal to 3,772 million euros (of which 2,502 million collected on the market), down 36% compared to 5,920 million the previous year. The operators who carried out fundraising activities in 2023 were 35 (49 the previous year). With reference to the geographical origin of the funds raised on the market, the component housekeeper He represented 83%while the weight of that foreign it was of 17%. In terms of sources, 21% of the collection comes from pension funds and provident funds (522 million euros), followed by banks (13%, 332 million) and from private funds (11%, 270 million).

Investments more than halved

In 2023 the amount invested by private equity and venture capital operators was equal to 8,162 million of euros, in 66% drop compared to the previous year. 2022 was characterized by the highest level ever recorded in the Italian market (23,659 million), driven by some particularly significant operations carried out in both the buy-out and infrastructure segments.

In 2022, in fact, 7 transactions were carried out with paid-up equity between 150 and 300 million euros (large deal) and 17 transactions amounting to more than 300 million (mega deal), for a total amount of 17,890 million euros ( 76% of the total). During 2023, however, they were created 6 large deals and 4 mega dealswhich together they represented 36% of the total amount invested in the year (2,927 million euros). It should be underlined that operations characterized by an amount of less than 150 million euros (small and medium deals) they attracted 5,235 million of euros invested, representing the second highest value ever after 2022 (5,770 million in 2022, -9%, and 4,878 million in 2021, +7%).

The number of operations And decreased by 12% reaching 750, compared to 848 the previous year, also driven this year by venture capital activity.

With reference to the geographical origin of the operators, it remains high the interest of international players in our market: in 2023, in fact, 64% of the total amount was invested by foreign operators (5,248 million).

At a sectoral level2023 saw in first place in terms of number of investments Ict sectorwith 27% of total transactions, followed by industrial goods and services, 17%, and medical, 14%.

At the level geographical the region that has totaled the majority of operations is the Lombardy with 45% of the number of investments in Italy, followed by Lazio (9%) and Tuscany (8%).


In 2023 the amount disinvested the purchase cost of the equity investments was equal to 1,730 million of euros, in 61% drop compared to 4,398 million the previous year. The number of exits was 99, -15% compared to the 117 in 2022.

The channel most used for disinvestments in terms of number was the sale to an industrial entitywith 37 exits (37% of the total), while in terms of amount the sale to another private equity operator it represented the preferred disinvestment channel (776 million euros), with an incidence of 45%.