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Energy private equity firm of the year
Blackstone committed and invested $3.5 billion in seven new energy companies in 2017, including the acquisition of EagleClaw Midstream Ventures in the Permian’s Delaware Basin in West Texas, which the firm purchased for about $2 billion through its flagship fund and its energy-focused fund. The investments are “consistent with our view of significant growth in US natural gas production volumes – not necessarily higher gas prices – in the future”, said David Foley, chief executive of Blackstone Energy Partners, the energy-focused private equity business of Blackstone. “In a year when the public equity markets did not favour midstream master limited partnerships, we were successful in investing approximately $2 billion equity in three new natural gas-focused midstream investments, two of which were in partnership with large public midstream companies, Grand Prix with Targa and Rover with Energy Transfer,” he said.
Healthcare private equity firm of the year
- Summit Partners
- Waud Capital
KKR successfully raised its debut healthcare growth fund, KKR Health Care Strategic Growth Fund, in 2017, holding a final close on $1.45 billion at the end of November. But it’s no foreigner to the space. The New York-based alternative asset manager, which also has offices in Menlo Park, California, has been investing globally in the healthcare sector for more than 20 years, having deployed about $12 billion across private markets often directly from its balance sheet. It also made a slew of investments in 2017 including Cerêve, which makes devices to fight insomnia, and has created a new platform, Ajax Health, which sources and provides operational and financial capabilities to a diversified portfolio of emerging medical device companies.
Technology private equity firm of the year
- Silver Lake
- Vista Equity Partners
- Providence Equity Partners
Silver Lake cemented its position as the largest technology-focused private equity firm in the world in 2017 with the $15 billion final close in the spring of its latest flagship fund, Silver Lake Partners V. The fund had a $12.5 billion target and the firm ultimately attracted LP commitments totalling $14.5 billion. “What resonated with investors in this fundraise is what resonates with industry CEOs: Silver Lake’s flexible investment structures, conservative use of leverage and an intensive focus on growth,” said Susannah Carrier, managing director and global head of fundraising and investor relations. The Menlo Park, California-headquartered firm, which now has $39 billion in combined assets under management and committed capital, also completed several deals, including a $500 million investment in finance company SoFi.
Consumer private equity firm of the year
- L Catterton
More than a year after Catterton partnered with LVMH and Groupe Arnault to create L Catterton, the firm has been running at full speed and now has more than $14 billion of equity capital across six fund strategies. After closing on $4.2 billion in capital in 2016, the firm continued its fundraising efforts last year with L Catterton Asia III, which is seeking $1.25 billion, and L Catterton Europe IV, which has a target of €500 million. On the deal side, the firm invested $2.3 billion in 26 consumer business across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia, including the acquisition of high-end gym Equinox and Leslie’s, a retailer and online marketer of swimming pool and spa supplies and services. It also had 17 exits and recaps totaling more than $1 billion.
Long-term private equity firm of the year
- CVC Capital Partners
- Cove Hill Partners
This year we are recognising the emergence of a new breed of private equity fund. The field of long-term funds includes established franchises, like our inaugural winner, and new entrants, like third placed Bain Capital spin-out Cove Hill Partners. Blackstone, which takes the crown, is investing its $4.76 billion 20-year Blackstone Core Equity Partners fund – currently the largest dedicated long-term fund in the market. It is relatively early days for the strategy: as of 31 December 2017 the team, led by head of private equity Joe Baratta, had deployed $1.4 billion into two investments last year: music rights business SESAC and online education business Ascend Learning.
Frontier markets firm of the year
- The Abraaj Group
Frontier markets can be tricky to navigate. Actis blazed a trail last year with $830 million deployed in markets such as Africa and Latin America as of November. The London-headquartered firm made waves in Latin America with the launch of renewable energy platform, Atlas Renewable Energy, which is targeting over 1.5GWs of installed solar capacity across the region. Actis also expanded its footprint in Brazil by establishing wind platform Echoenergia. In Africa, Actis has created a $275 million higher education platform which spans nine countries. The Honoris United Universities group brings together private universities and colleges in 48 campuses in 30 cities in Africa, targeting the rapid growth in interest in education.
Impact investment firm of the year
- Bain Capital
TPG’s debut impact fund hit its $2 billion hard-cap in October after launching at the end of 2016. As of January, the Rise Fund had done about half a dozen investments, including Dodla Dairy, a dairy company aimed at reducing poverty in India. Focused on making measurable social and environmental improvements without compromising on returns, Rise has developed its own impact multiple of money, which determines how much net positive value is being created, and hopes the work it is doing in impact investing will eventually set a standard for the industry. “It was a big investment to create this approach, and this is one of the contributions that we feel as a larger fund we can make to the industry,” said Maya Chorengel, Rise Fund senior partner.