Private equity firms invest in non-public companies and typically hold their investments with the intent of realizing a return within 3 to 7 years. Generally, investments are realized through an initial public offering, sale, merger, or recapitalization.
Private equity groups tend to focus on more mature businesses, often contributing both equity and debt (or some hybrid) to the transaction.
What do private equity firms look for in a potential acquisition?
While private equity firms employ various strategies to create value in their investments (such as the consolidation of a fragmented industry), a common strategy is to acquire a "platform" company and grow the platform through further "add-on" acquisitions. Add-on acquisitions are typically smaller in size, but complementary to, the platform investment.
LEVERAGE AND CASH FLOW
Private equity groups typically use leverage (debt) to increase the return on the firm's invested capital. The amount of leverage employed is normally determined by the target's ability to service the debt with cash generated through operations.
Private equity groups make money from both the cash flow of the acquired business and from the proceeds generated upon exiting the business. The exit provides the investor a mechanism to monetize the firm's equity. The exit provides the financial sponsor with a finalization of the investment and an opportunity to distribute profits. In fact, a significant component of a private equity professional's compensation is based on this profit distribution, called "carried interest".
Find targeted firms at Private Equity InfoPrivate Equity Info provides a comprehensive database of private equity firms, sorted by acquisition criteria (such as industry of investment interest, acquisition size and transaction type). This database also allows subscribers to search through the portfolio companies that are currently owned by private equity firms, allowing users to find very targeted matched with certain firms that may have a strategic fit.
Search Private Equity Info for targeted firmsPrivate Equity Info provides an online database of private equity firms that subscribers may search to find those firms that would be most intersted in a particular company.
- Private Equity Info also provides an online demo of their database, which offers the same functionality as full subscribers, but limits the search results to the first two.