The results of the reader poll conducted by PrivateEquityOnline.com and its sister print publication Private Equity International were announced today in Munich by managing editor Philip Borel at the SuperReturns Conference.
In front of an audience of over 750 leading private equity professionals, the winners and runners up in 20 different categories were revealed after more than 5000 votes had been cast during the past few months.
Now in their third year, the awards have become an important opportunity for the industry to vote for the deals, the firms and the individuals that they consider to have stood out in the past 12 months. The result is the 2002 Private Equity Awards.
'What is interesting is that we deliberately don't offer a shortlist,' commented Borel, 'and instead we let our readers come up with as many or as few candidates as they want. The response was very pleasing – and interesting.' As the poll was conducted online it was also possible to ensure no multiple voting by one individual was successful nor that firms could vote for themselves.
The results evidence some of the key trends shaping private equity across Europe now. Although detailed commentary on this is available alongside the full award results in the 2002 Private Equity Annual Review (which is also published today), headline themes include:
- UK-headquartered private equity firms still dominate Europe;
- Mega-transactions prevail in the minds of both LPs and GPs;
- Delivering enhanced liquidity has become a key challenge – and opportunity;
- Although advisory experience is crucial, so does commitment to the asset class;
- Local private equity need no longer mean domestic-only or small in size;
- European buyout is big, European venture is not.
The full list of winners is available in the Annual Review but headline successes were:
Private Equity Firm of the Year: Permira
Private Equity Personality of the Year: Guy Hands
Buyout of the Year: Legrand [KKR & Wendel Investissement]
Exit of the Year: Homebase [Permira]
Other categories include Fundraising of the Year, Debt Provider of the Year, Best Placement Agent, Best Law Firm (both for transactions and documentation) as well as country and region categories covering the whole of Europe (France, Germany, Nordic and UK for example).
Commented Borel: 'The size and diversity of the voting makes it clear that private equity in Europe has come of age. Although in some markets you will still find a dominant local firm, in most others there are numerous players – and our readers have views on who performs best. One type does not suit all.'
Copies of the Annual Review will be distributed to all subscribers to Private Equity International magazine next week.