With the market talking of green shoots, it seems only a matter of time before the predators of the private equity world begin stalking the market again. Simon Meads and I took a look at the issue earlier today.
We found that though many private equity houses are still licking the wounds inflicted by ill-judged boom year deals, others remain keen and ready to go. Many of these firms timed it just right, either raising funds late in the credit cycle or selling companies at the top of the market.
Private equity companies in a good position include Advent International, Bridgepoint, CVC, Charterhouse, Cinven, PAI and Warburg Pincus.
For those that got it wrong, keeping their heads down and hoping for a change in fortunes seems the preferred option. But for those in the worst position, help is required: badly wounded Candover is now looking for a buyer and debt-laden 3i has asked for fresh funds from shareholders.
For those lucky enough to have money to invest, buyouts have changed with the times. Distressed funds, secondary funds — which deal in second-hand private equity assets — growth capital and niche buyouts are all tools of choice for today’s private equity hunters.