Showing posts with label financial post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label financial post. Show all posts

Why business owners will benefit from tough year ahead for private equity


The toughest year is ahead for private equity as it will seek to buy companies, putting  business owners in the driver's seat. Valuations are causing the most trouble for both private equity and business owners. This is the traditional disagreement with private equity wanting three times EBITDA while businesses think they should get 12 times EBITDA.
The problem here is that business owners need to realize that this means their company is expecting to grow 12 times per annum. This means getting going in other markets, not just their same-old, same-old. A partnership with private equity would help but they are not miracle workers so workers will need to become more realistic. Here is a great article on the struggles ahead for private equity and how that will benefit business owners - written by Financial Times:
There is a suspicion among investors that when a private equity company is seeking to raise a new fund it seeks to sell some of its best-performing assets to keep its backers happy by returning some cash to them.
Stephen Schwarzman, Blackstone's chief executive, has told investors his group plans to float eight companies and sell five this year. In the UK, Permira has promised to return a "wall of cash" to investors. This could trigger a wave of buying opportunities for other private equity groups, as many of these companies have no obvious trade buyer and may not make ideal flotation candidates.
In some cases, buy-out groups that raised their last fund in 2005 - such as BC Partners and Cognetas - are nearing the end of their five-year investment periods.
After a private equity group goes beyond its investment period it can no longer do new deals, unless investors grant it an extension or if it raises another fund. This could leave some big buy-out houses out of the market, at least temporarily. Several buy-out groups are in the happier position of having recently raised big funds, such as Hellman & Friedman, First Reserve, TPG, CVC Capital Partners, Warburg Pincus, Nordic Capital and Advent International.
Yet with bank debt still in short supply and the recession failing to produce the expected flow of opportunities to snap up good companies on the cheap, these groups are having to work harder to put their capital to work.
As buy-out groups still have about $450bn of "dry powder" left to invest, there is fierce competition for the best opportunities, which is pushing up prices.
Jacques Callaghan, head of private equity at Hawkpoint, the investment banking boutique, says there are more than 65 private equity groups that can still write a £100m equity cheque for a deal in Europe.
"A number of firms are going to feel under pressure to invest in the next year or two, or they will face calls to reduce their fund size," says Mr Callaghan.
So even those buy-out bosses who fulfil their New Year resolutions by raising fresh funds will still face pressure to show they can spend the money on attractive deals.
This is good news for businesses who are thinking about selling in the next five to ten years. Make it your new year resolution to find out more about private equity investors


Jacoline Loewen, expert in helping business owners get the money and the partners they deserve.
National Post video interview: http://www.financialpost.com/video/index.html?category=Financial+Post&video=XgmEI_w_0T1ljmKoXzmCCjo_6u1hka1w