The multiples paid for European mid-market companies fell by four per cent to 9.1x Ebitda in the Q4 2017, according to the latest Argos Mid-Market Index.

The index, compiled by Epsilon Research and Argos Soditic, attributed the fall to a drop in multiples paid by strategic buyers, particularly for larger transactions valued in the €150m to €500m range.

But although trade buyers paid lower multiples in Q4 2017, private equity funds saw a slight uptick in the prices they paid over the period, with prices climbing to 9.2x Ebitda. Buyout dealmakers continue to benefit from strong investor appetite for private equity and large amounts of dry powder.

Although overall multiples did move lower, prices have held above the 9x Ebitda level, which is 20 per cent higher than the average over the last ten years.

The Argos Index is published quarterly and tracks the prices of targets in the eurozone valued in the €15m to €500m range.