Private equity

From Academic Kids

Private equity is a broad term that refers to any type of equity investment in an asset in which the equity is not freely tradable on a public stock market. Categories of private equity investment include leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, angel investing, mezzanine capital and others.


Private equity firms

Generally, private equity funds are organized as limited partnerships which are controlled by the private equity firm that acts as the general partner. The fund obtains commitments from certain qualified investors such as pension funds, financial institutions and wealthy individuals to invest a specified amount. These investors become passive limited partners in the fund partnership and at such time as the general partner identifies an appropriate investment opportunity, it is entitled to "call" the required equity capital at which time each limited partner funds a pro rata portion of its commitment. All investment decisions are made by the General Partner which also manages the fund's investments (commonly referred to as the "portfolio"). Over the life of a fund which often extends up to ten years, the fund will typically make between 15 and 25 separate investments with usually no single investment exceeding 10% of the total commitments.

General partners are generally compensated with a management fee, defined as a percentage of the fund's total equity capital, as well as a carried interest, defined as a percentage of profits generated by the fund (so long as some minimum return for the investors called the hurdle rate is achieved). Typically, general partners of funds will receive a management fee of 2% and carried interest of 20%. (Although typically, the carry is reduced by the amount of the management fees received). Gross private equity returns may be in excess of 20% per year, which in the case of leveraged buyout firms is primarily due to leverage, and in the case of venture capital firms, due to the high level of risk associated with early stage investments.

Although there is a limited market for limited partnership interests, such interests are not freely tradeable like mutual fund interests.

Private equity firms include


Keynote Speech Delivered by Henry R. Kravis at the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Conference in New York City on September 22, 2004 ([12] (

When George and I first started doing deals at Bear Stearns in the late 60s, “bootstrap” transactions, were in their infancy. The private equity industry as we know it was not yet born. In the early days, there was very little understanding about what we were proposing among corporations, or among the debt providers we needed to support our buyouts, or among institutional investors. There was limited debt capability and no high yield markets.

The hardest work in the early days was finding capital from investors, financing the transactions, and educating corporations about leveraged buyouts and the meaning of maximizing shareholder value.

This is no longer the case. The businesses we invest in today are better managed companies than those we invested in 10, 20, or 30 years ago. And there is more transparency in business, so it is extremely hard to find a hidden jewel. None of us make money at the time of the acquisition. We only make money because we improve the operations of the newly acquired company, and, subsequently, if capital markets are strong, utilize this capital to our advantage. As a result, we’ve had to get more skilled at building businesses.

So here’s where private equity stands after three decades: First, management ownership has become institutionalized, eliminating for us a relatively simple method of increasing value in our companies. Second, an emphasis on creating shareholder value has become an important driver in powering a dynamic and prosperous U.S. economy, increasing the valuations of our potential investee companies. And finally, as if making money wasn’t hard enough, our success in building businesses by leveraging our flourishing capital markets has led to increased competition from traditional private equity investors as well as from outside the industry. In short, everything we have accomplished in driving corporate excellence makes it harder for us to achieve the returns that our investors expect from us.

Since the days of buying a company on the cheap are pretty much over, and the key driver for success in our business is what you can do with the company after you own it, then intimate knowledge of industries and companies is imperative.

See also

External links

Industry Organizations & Other Resources




Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools