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The summer of 2004 saw a plethora of US private equity firms rushing to create “business development companies” – publicly traded vehicles that place debt and equity with private companies.  
PEO is disappointed to be feeling curmudgeonly this week.  
The conventional wisdom is that private equity investing in Russia is a risky business.  
Statistics will tell you that the Chinese venture capital market is still in its early throes of development. Last year, according to a survey by IndUS Business Journal, US companies raised just over $20 billion from early-stage investors, compared with a little more than $1 billion raised in China. But there is sufficient anecdotal evidence that the Chinese dragon is stirring.  
How many institutional investors in need of yield coughed into their cornflakes recently when they read what was currently being generated in private equity and other non-mainstream asset classes?  
These are halcyon days for the US high yield market. Take yesterday’s announcement that technology group SunGard had successfully raised a $3 billion (€2.5 billion) junk bond in support of the $11.3 billion buyout of the company that took place in March this year by a seven-strong consortium of private equity firms, led by Silver Lake Partners.  
Among fans of cricket, Australians are acknowledged to do well away from home. As the latest Ashes series between England and Australia commenced yesterday at the Lord’s ground in London, it was in the expectation that the visitors would stand a good chance of maintaining an unbeaten run at the venue stretching all the way back to 1934.  
What’s the future of the buyout industry? Easy. Currently the most widespread view of the industry’s evolution is this:  private equity is going where investment banking has gone before it. As a result, a very small number of very large, global LBO players are set to dominate, attracting the vast majority of institutional capital being allocated to the asset class.  
The private equity industry is blessed to be inherently long-term in investment outlook, but rather cursed to find itself increasingly dependent on a broader investment market that is built around short-term performance measurement.    
Buyout firms are most times control freaks: they expect to take majority positions in companies – and for very good reason.  
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