PEI Awards 2019: Global winners

We honour specialists across the globe in areas including healthcare, technology, impact and long-term.

Healthcare Private Equity Firm of the Year

1. Advent International

2. EQT

3. TPG

Advent International’s healthcare investments in 2019 ranged from a life sciences contract research and development organisation with operations in the US and China to a network of dental care clinics across Spain. Notable deals included an investment in data and analytics provider Definitive Healthcare in June.

The firm also raised $17.5 billion for its ninth global private equity fund in June, surpassing its $16 billion target. The GPE IX fund counts healthcare among its five core focus industries.

Technology Private Equity Firm of the Year

1. KKR

2. Vista Equity Partners

3. Hg

KKR stormed to the top of the technology category after several investments across Asia, the US and EMEA. Among these were US-based cloud and on-premises solutions firm OneStream Software, UK residential gigabit broadband provider Hyperoptic, German fintech heidelpay and Australian online business management company MYOB. Exits included Internet Brands’ Autodata Solutions Group and Trainline, among others.

KKR also strengthened its expertise in the field by appointing Diego Piacentini as a senior advisor for its technology, media and telecom investments.

Consumer Private Equity Firm of the Year

1. The Carlyle Group

2. L Catterton

3. TSG Consumer Partners

The Carlyle Group, which has some $224 billion of assets under management, ramped up its presence in the global consumer and retail sector in 2019 with deals in Brazil, Japan and China. This includes a significant minority investment in Brazilian restaurant chain Grupo Madero, which operates 140 casual-dining restaurants across three restaurant brands. Meanwhile, in the US, Carlyle and TA Associates acquired Weiman Products, a manufacturer and distributor of specialty cleaning products for the consumer and commercial end markets.

Energy Private Equity Firm of the Year

1. Capital Dynamics

2. Actis

3. Tailwater Capital

It was a busy year for Capital Dynamics’ Clean Energy Infrastructure business in 2019. It completed its first acquisition in Iberia in May in the form of a 24.5 percent stake in Spain’s Talasol Solar Project. The firm also invested in the Townsite Solar Project in Nevada, via the acquisition of Skylar Townsite LLC in August.

Capital Dynamics reached an agreement in August to acquire four operating wind projects in Northern Ireland from Brookfield Renewable Partners.

Long-term Private Equity Firm of the Year

1. CVC Capital Partners

2. BlackRock

3. Altas Partners

In July 2019, CVC Capital Partners held the final close of CVC Strategic Opportunities II at €4.6 billion, coming in above its initial target of €4 billion. The firm’s Strategic Opportunities platform invests in long-term capital appreciation opportunities in North America and western Europe.

Within two months, CVC had completed two deals in this segment, including the acquisition of New Zealand dairy exporter Fonterra’s 50 percent stake in German pharmaceutical business DFE.

Frontier Markets Firm of the Year

1. LeapFrog Investments

2. AfricInvest

3. Mekong Capital

LeapFrog Investments claimed the top spot this year, aided by the $700 million raised for the

close of its third emerging markets fund. This surpassed both LeapFrog’s initial $600 million target and the $400 million raised for its previous fund in 2014. Investors into the new fund include the Rockefeller Foundation, Prudential Financial and Zurich. Fund III will focus on healthcare and financial services opportunities in Africa and Asia.

Impact Investment Firm of the Year

1. KKR

2. Goodwell Investments

3. SEAF

KKR has invested in more than four companies since launching its Global Impact strategy in 2018, beginning with Singapore’s energy savings solutions firm Barghest Building Performance. In 2019, it followed this with investments in India’s Ramky Enviro Engineers, a provider of environmental services, US-based cybersecurity firm KnowBe4 and US labour market analytics provider Burning Glass.

In April, it became a founding signatory to the Operating Principles for Impact Management, a new market standard for impact investing introduced by the International Finance Corporation.