EUROPE – Private equity investment across Europe decreased during the first six months of this year compared to last year, according to the EVCA Mid-Year Survey of Pan-European Private Equity and Venture Capital Activity, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

According to the survey, there were 13.5% fewer companies backed - 17.4% less in terms of assets invested - than in the same period last year, an indication in part of the economic downturn but also the relative stability of private equity as an asset class, the report suggests.

The responses represent 58% of European private equity houses and were taken in the first six months of the year. During this time €11,1bn was invested in 4,006 companies, against €13.5bn in 4,630 firms last year.

The survey covers 22 countries and the results will be formally presented this week at the EVCA’s Technology Investment Conference in Helsinki.