Breakingviews

KKR’s First Data charges into tech-ier second life

July 21, 2015

Its turnaround on track, the U.S. payments processor filed for an IPO eight years after its LBO. The equity value may reach $20 bln, bringing private equity owners a modest profit despite overpaying. The credit card pioneer’s challenge, though, is to be disruptor – not disrupted.

New drivers could rev Formula One’s billions

June 25, 2015

Private equity backer CVC is ready to speed off after a decade of turbocharged returns, while 84-year-old patriarch Bernie Ecclestone may not be doing enough to tune high-tech motor racing’s commercial chassis. Qatari and U.S. owners might just restore full power.

Tesco’s South Korean unit stacks up for a buyout

June 9, 2015

A disposal for around $6 bln would do much to fix the British grocer’s strained balance sheet. Tesco might not miss the Korean earnings that much either. It’s hard to see trade buyers bidding up the price. But it presents a rare opportunity for private equity in Asia.

Apollo strains to heed LBO mission control

June 3, 2015

Leon Black’s private equity shop is paying a headline valuation of 9.4 times EBITDA for specialty chemicals maker OM Group. Side deals will lower the multiple but Apollo’s avowed discipline looks tough in a pricey market. It’s a small buyout that illustrates a bigger industry problem.

Rob Cox: Why Remington’s investors shouldn’t sell

May 19, 2015

Gun safety groups and Snoop Dogg pressured Cerberus to cleave the maker of a notorious assault rifle from its funds. Now Cerberus can get back to work raising money. Social activists need to behave more like their shareholder brethren to have any hope of changing this business.

Fresh flames rise from Sealy’s ever-burning bed

February 17, 2015

Uppity investor H Partners, alleging serial underperformance and stale private equity directors, wants Tempur Sealy’s CEO fired and a seat on the board. The company and the mattress industry have a torturous financial history. It probably means where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

Dick’s buyout has financially sporting chance

January 8, 2015

The $6 bln U.S. golf-to-guns vendor is mulling a sale to private equity. Low debt at Dick’s Sporting Goods means even with a chunky premium, attractive returns look possible. It would, however, require healthy growth when stiff online competition is challenging many retailers.

Dry powder may explode in buyout barons’ faces

December 18, 2014

Everything is going up in private equity except deal volume. Acquisition multiples are at a record high, as is competition from corporate buyers. For big firms such as Apollo and Blackstone, $1.5 trln of purchasing power may be tough to deploy without cratering returns.

Pharma’s dying assets lack M&A remedy

December 5, 2014

Both GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi have scrapped sales of mature drugs. The motives differ, but both flops highlight the challenge of finding suitable owners for such assets. Other industries would spawn rollup vehicles. Here, buyers lack expertise, and sellers aren’t desperate yet.

Private equity shows signs of pre-crisis brio

November 25, 2014

Canada’s Onex has bought Swiss packager SIG for up to $4.7 bln in a secondary buyout. It’s one of Europe’s biggest LBOs in five years and deploys pre-crisis levels of leverage. Private equity restlessness and a shortage of big targets created the conditions for a landmark deal.