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Tag Archives: PE Views

Private Equity Set to Get Active With Activists

Companies previously considered immune from activist campaigns have come under pressure, driving new public and private deal opportunities for private equity. By Richard Butterwick, Christopher Drewry, Tom Evans, Harald Selzner, David Walker, Ben Coleman, and Catherine Campbell US shareholder activists are an established presence in Europe. In 2018, activist campaigns targeted 160 European companies, according to Activist Insight. In … Continue Reading

2019 Is Different From 2008: 4 European Restructuring Developments for Private Equity Firms to Consider

Persisting political and economic uncertainty means awareness of market changes remains crucial. By Simon Baskerville, Tom Evans, David Walker, Stephanie Dellosa, and Catherine Campbell The 2008 distress cycle triggered defaults and restructurings for European PE portfolio companies, as maintenance covenant defaults and balance sheet deleveraging forced refinancings and debt-for-equity swaps. While restructuring conditions for PE firms are … Continue Reading

Cornerstone Investments: A Foundation for Private Equity-Sponsored IPO Exits

Cornerstone investments can assist a firm’s overall exit objective, particularly when there are bidders for a portfolio company but no outright buyer. By James Inness, Tom Evans, David Walker, Sonica Tolani, Connor Cahalane, and Catherine Campbell Cornerstone investments, which involve taking a stake in an about-to-list company, have been popular in Asia and in Nordic countries for … Continue Reading

Is Artificial Intelligence Set to Transform Private Equity Dealmaking?

With the explosion of AI applications, private equity houses and their portfolio companies must understand where key opportunities lie. By Tom Evans, Kem Ihenacho, David Walker, Laura Holden, Hector Sants, Claudia Sousa, Catherine Campbell, and Patricia Kelly Artificial intelligence (AI) developments provide increasing opportunities for private equity, including deal sourcing and portfolio company analysis/enhancement, particularly in businesses that can adopt … Continue Reading

5 Antitrust Trends for Private Equity to Watch

We examine: increasing focus on non-controlling stakes, burdensome document production requests, heightened enforcement of gun jumping rules, examination of vertical deal overlaps, and ongoing political developments. By John Colahan, Peter Citron, Calum Warren, David Walker, Tom Evans, and Catherine Campbell In a continually evolving antitrust landscape, we consider five key trends that PE deal teams … Continue Reading

Are Private Equity Bank Buyouts Set to Soar?

European regulators’ openness to PE investors is presenting attractive banking sector opportunities, but such opportunities require careful regulatory planning and local issue navigation. By Carl Fernandes, Hans-Jürgen Luett, David Walker, Tom Evans, and Catherine Campbell Ten years ago, a PE investment in a European bank would have been a rare occurrence. However, more recently, PE … Continue Reading

Litigation Funding: Private Equity Investment Opportunity and Portfolio Risk Management Tool

As litigation funders find new disputes markets, PE firms should consider litigation funding as a growth sector — and as a valuable tool for de-risking portfolio company claims. By Stuart Alford, Dan Smith, David Walker, Tom Evans, and Catherine Campbell Litigation funding, the third-party financing of legal costs in disputes, is increasingly common in the … Continue Reading

Will Regulatory Reform Make Cryptoassets the Next Buyout Boom for Private Equity?

Regulatory guidance on cryptoassets and digital currency companies may lead to a legitimisation of crypto-businesses as an investable asset class. By Stuart Davis, Sam Maxson, David Walker, Tom Evans, and Catherine Campbell Recent and upcoming regulatory guidance on cryptoassets and the regulation of companies engaged in digital currency, such as issuers, crypto-exchanges, crypto-custodians, crypto-brokers, and … Continue Reading

Addressing Pensions Liabilities for Underperforming Portfolio Companies

By Catherine Drinnan and Shaun Thompson This year has seen a significant number of business failures, particularly on the high street, as businesses have struggled in the face of market fragility and Brexit uncertainty. When a UK portfolio company is underperforming, the presence of a defined benefit pension (DB) plan with a large deficit can … Continue Reading

Private Equity Buyers Poised to Reap W&I Insurance Benefits

By Drew Levin, Maarten Overmars, and Catherine Campbell Warranty and indemnity insurance (W&I) has become a common feature of European transactions in recent years, amid a strong sellers’ market that has enabled vendors to offload risk to buyers. According to the most recent edition of the Latham & Watkins Private M&A Market Study, which examined … Continue Reading

Growth of Large-Cap Consortium Bids Tests Popularity of Proprietary Bids — but What Are the Challenges for Private Equity?

By Suneel Basson-Bhatoa, Alex McCarney, and Catherine Campbell Consortium (or “club”) deals involving PE firms have become a common feature of the deal market throughout 2018, with sponsors teaming up with each other or with strategic partners to buy large-cap assets. To the start of November 2018, 20 consortium transactions worth more than US$1 billion … Continue Reading

Outsource Service Providers to the Financial Services Industry — A Growth Sector for Buyout Firms

By Nicola Higgs, Fiona MacLean, Brett Carr, and Catherine Campbell Technology outsourcing by financial institutions (FIs) has increased in recent years as FIs look to the latest innovations to improve their day-to-day business processes and to reduce costs. FIs outsource key functions to a host of regulated and unregulated third-party service providers, and the sector is … Continue Reading

Opportunities and Challenges for Private Equity Investment in the Insurance Sector

By Simeon Rudin and Beatrice Lo Recent private equity investments in high-profile deals, such as Bain Capital’s acquisition of esure and Apollo’s acquisition of Aspen Insurance, have brought European insurance sector deal values to record highs. Regulatory changes and regulators’ changing perceptions of PE firms have contributed to increased M&A activity, bringing new opportunities for insurance business … Continue Reading

China’s War on Pollution Hits Private Equity Deal Environment

By Paul Davies and Catherine Campbell In recent years, China has taken significant steps in developing its environmental policy. In 2014 China’s Premier Li Keqiang declared a “war on pollution”, which began in earnest in 2017. Since then, regulators have been more proactive in enforcing environmental regulations. Factory closures have become a key part of … Continue Reading

New National Security Threat to UK Private Equity Deals

By Jonathan Parker, Calum Warren, and Catherine Campbell The UK government has assumed an increasingly interventionist approach to foreign takeovers in recent years. In June 2018, the UK adopted new powers to review deals on national security grounds, extending the scope and breadth of its control regime. In July, the UK went a step further and … Continue Reading

PE Firms Must Evaluate Competition Strategy Ahead of Brexit

By Jonathan Parker and Greg Bonné As the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) prepares to assume sole jurisdiction for UK competition reviews post-Brexit, private equity deal teams must evaluate the competitive consequences of deals bridging the Brexit period and update their competition strategy accordingly. What is Changing? The European Commission (EC) currently acts as a … Continue Reading

Private Equity and Blockchain: New Infrastructure or New Asset Class?

By Andrew Moyle and Stuart Davis Growth in applications for blockchain and tokenisation, combined with an increasing number of initial coin offerings (ICOs), mean that buyout firms should note developments in this sector. Why Should PE Be Interested in Blockchain? A shared blockchain ledger could drive a single interface between a PE fund and its investors, … Continue Reading

Can Private Equity Buyers Be Suitable Purchasers of Divested Assets for Antitrust Regulators?

By Sven Volcker and Tomas Nilsson In the last five years, the European Commission (EC) has required divestitures in more than 70 antitrust cases, requiring merging parties to divest business assets as a condition to receiving regulatory approval. This increasingly interventionist approach from competition regulators presents opportunities for buyout firms to acquire divested assets. However, … Continue Reading

Locked Box Lands in the US

By Jason Morelli, Howard Sobel, and Maarten Overmars In the US, unlike in Europe, deals are traditionally transacted on the basis of closing accounts, with adjustments made post-closing for working capital, indebtedness, cash, and transaction expenses. This is now changing. Recent deal activity shows US private equity vendors, having become accustomed to the concept of a locked box in European sales processes, increasingly pivoting … Continue Reading

Is Good Faith a Bad Choice Under English Law?

By Oliver Browne Although there remains no widely accepted definition of good faith under English law, and English law has committed itself to no overriding principle of good faith, English law has developed piecemeal solutions in response to demonstrated problems of unfairness. The variety of these solutions, and the pace with which they are being … Continue Reading

Poised for Next Payments Boom

By Christian McDermott In recent years, PE firms have been paying to play in the payment processing sector. From Worldpay and Nets, to Bambora and Paysafe, payment processing companies have proven to be attractive investments for European PE. In our view, a wave of regulation in the FinTech sector will unleash further growth potential, and … Continue Reading

Early Liquidity Rights Create Management Misalignment

By Thomas Tharakan The average PE hold period is getting longer. According to data provider Preqin, PE firms held on to European assets for an average of 5.65 years in 2017, up from 4.41 years in 2007. Extended hold periods have been driven by a number of factors, including the raising of longer-term PE funds … Continue Reading

Increased Flex Amid Record Liquidity in European Leveraged Loans Requires Careful Navigation by PE Firms

By Chris Kandel The European leveraged loan market is going from strength to strength, with a continuing surplus of available credit compared to deal requirements, resulting in very borrower-favourable terms. However, we are seeing signs of a two-tier market emerging, with strong demand and pricing reductions for deals perceived as stronger credits, alongside an increase … Continue Reading
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