Recently Bain & Company (Bain) released its 2022 Global Private Equity Report. Bain is the leading consulting partner to the private equity (PE) industry and its stakeholders. PE consulting at Bain has grown eightfold over the past 15 years and now represents about one-third of the firm’s global business. So, Bain’s well connected to the PE industry and trends impacting it.
As we have discussed in prior posts regarding worldwide M&A activity, Bain data indicates that 2021 was a record year for global PE as well:
By just about any measure, private equity set a remarkable new standard for itself in 2021. Buyout deal value and exits shot to stunning new records. General partners (GPs) had the second-best fund-raising year in the industry’s history, capping a five-year run that has netted $1.8 trillion in new buyout capital.
As shown above, 2021 saw a huge increase in both deal number and deal value globally. Most importantly, fund-raising, a measure of “dry-powder” or the availability of capital to fund acquisitions 3-5 years out, also grew to record numbers.
Now having said that, the question now becomes what happens in 2022?
While we believe the outlook remains strong in 2022, several important factors will weigh on investors’ minds as they think about doing deals. Covid-19–related issues have increased inflation to levels not seen in the US and other markets in 40 years. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has dialed up global disruption, causing uncertainty around supply chains, energy prices, and other economic factors, as well as untold human suffering, fear, and panic.
There’s no way to know how these global disruptions will play out, but the reaction from the Federal Reserve and other central bankers will shape current and future deal making. One thing is certain: There are now inflation playbooks developing across the GP and LP landscape as investors race to protect margins and future returns.
Since the report was published, the situation in Ukraine has grown even more dire and the Fed raised interest rates a quarter of a point. Although the interest rate increase simply brought the rate to pre-pandemic levels, the Fed signaled that more increases are probably coming.
As for Ukraine, the global economic waves are still unknown. The reality for U.S. based businesses is that once again North America is the safest region in the world to make acquisitions. The situation in Eastern Europe today sadly only makes that clearer than ever.
Unfortunately, far too often, uncertainty has led to indecision, delay, and a short-term view rather than a longer-term strategy. That is why if you are a business owner in North America today, you need to be sure that PE firms are part of your potential buyer lists. These professional buyers typically do not let short-term disruptions distract them from their long-term view.
Although rising rates will make it more expensive to finance deals in general (thus potentially impacting valuations), these buyers, especially PE firms that focus on middle-market deals, have a five-to-ten year horizon for many of their investments. This means that they know that where we are today is not likely where we will be down the road.
However, this does mean that you need to act soon to either exit before rates go up too high, and/or create a long-term growth plan to ride out these short-term disruptions and build a buyer ready business, no matter what geopolitical events may cause.
Generational is very unique in the middle-market investment banking business. Via our Consulting Team, we work with our clients from the outset to build tactical and strategic plans to grow a business, then work hard to find optimal buyers for our clients, and finally help them with their newly monetized wealth after the sale of their business. Our recent investment in Precocity, a leading technology services firm, adds one more tool in our belt to help our clients sustain long-term growth.
As Bain stated, “There’s no way to know how these global disruptions will play out”. If you would like to find out how our full suite of investment banking services can help secure your future, please reach out to us at 972-232-1121 so we can discuss your specific situation and plans.
And realize that uncertainty also opens doors of opportunity for those brave and wise enough to see them.
Carl Doerksen is the Director of Corporate Development at Generational Equity.
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Thank you again for all your guidance and support. Any company will achieve what they intend, if they have you on their team!Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
The help you provided us during each step of this process made us feel very comfortable and confident we were selecting the right approach to transition our Company.Andy Graham, Vice President, Modern Heating & Plumbing
Thanks to you, the entire GE team and especially Michael Goss for driving a great valuation, coaching me and driving the process across the finish line. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to support GE going forward. P.S. Given my experience with GE I felt comfortable enough to sign up with Generation Wealth Advisors!Tom Currier, Former President & CEO, Rackmount Solutions
We were represented by Michael Goss with Generational. The due diligence was grueling and exhausting, but Michael propped us up and kept us motivated throughout the process. Debi and I continued to ask each other how we could possibly make it through this process without the assistance of Michael. Michael's professionalism and knowledge is absolutely amazing, and we are so blessed to have had him by our side as we made our future dreams come true.Bob and Debi Lee, Owners of BL Technology, Inc and BL Tl Services, LLC
Michael worked tirelessly, He followed every lead meticulously and urgently to make sure nothing was missed.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
The professionals at Generational Equity then helped develop a roadmap for enhancing the value of the firm and an evaluation report. This was completed by June 14, 2021. We then developed the Confidential Information Memorandum and put Taylor Studios, Inc. on the market by July.Betty L. Brennan, President, Taylor Studios
Generational Equity’s professional staff helped me every step of the way. Their network and professionals are the only reason I sold my company this quickly. For me this is a once in a lifetime sale and I was unfamiliar with the process. I was able to lean on them with questions and concerns.
Generational Equity’s assistance was invaluable in compiling and marketing our business.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
The process was much more involved than I expected and your help, experience and advice was a big factor in making the negotiations go as smoothly as possible.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
Your wisdom and experience were invaluable to me during this once-in-a-lifetime transaction.Ralph Noblin, President of Noblin & Associates
We knew it would be a difficult task to have someone really understand our business and our market, prior to researching a possible buyer, so it was imperative that we found someone of your caliber, with definite proven experience in this area.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
I need to say an immense thank you to Don Ho for his stellar work ethic, attention to detail, and tireless effort. Also thank you to the whole crew at GE! Without you, Don could not do such a phenomenal job. We were shooting for closing and funding before the end of 2020, due to the uncertainty of the political landscape and taxes. I am happy to report we closed last week and will be funding tomorrow.Dr. Caty J. Catron PhD, RN, VA-BC – Owner, Vic The Picc, LLC
We had the pleasure of working with Mr. Ahmad Behjati Managing Director, M&A, for Generational Equity during our acquisition of Papa's Dodge in late 2021. Generational Equity and Mr. Behjati represented and marketed Papa’s Dodge. As our primary contact, Mr. Behjati was professional in every facet of this acquisition process, conveying valuable advice most times and assisting us in every step of the process.Rick Greene of Dobbs Equity Partners LLC
After attending a conference with GE, I decided that the value they bring would be worth the expense and as soon as I started working with them, I realized that was the right decision. When we started to get LOIs, Fred Zweifel took the lead on the communication and supported negotiations throughout the process, which got tricky as we moved forward. I learned that it can be common for companies to make a great offer then work to erode that price with their discoveries, but Fred and the GE team kept that from happening.Caroline Connelly, CEO, OptoTest
Through the sale process, Generational brought in several interested buyers and we closed in about 6 months. I am so glad I accepted that invitation to the conference and could not be happier with the whole process. The team at Generational coupled with their knowledge and guidance was so valuable that in the end, I know I could never have done this on my own!JoAnn Ellis, Owner of Fondren 5 Star Kennels
We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Rick Nowak, President/CEO, Kurz Electric Solutions, Inc.
We were happy to see the interest in our company and what we cherished has not just a valuable company but an important company to the communities we served in.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
I quickly recognized that Don was working for Sharpe Mixers above all else, and held our interests above others.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
Generational Equity educated and informed us – so that we could be on the upside of a good decision (to sell).Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done for us. Not only did you take care of all the aspects of the sale but took extra care to make sure we knew what it looked like every step of the way. I will definitely recommend your company to anyone that is in a position to or looking to exit their business.Shane and Johanna Kline, Owners of Vision Upfitters
T.D., thank you so much! You are a great leader! I love how you are using your gifts and talents to better others. You are clearly a GREAT COACH! This 3 day session undoubtedly changed the future of our business, and very well may have been the sole catalyst to save my company, my health and my marriage! A genuine “thank you” from the bottom of my heart.Bryan D. Horn, Owner, Over Under Clothing
I couldn’t have asked for a better team than Michael and Deborah. We couldn’t have done it without them.Robert Evans, President and CEO of Mealtracker Dietary Software
I am pleased that I was able to work with Andrew Byrd throughout this experience. From the first meeting we had in Minneapolis I felt that I was in good hands. His knowledge and expertise is second to none. He guided the process consistently throughout. I feel lucky that I was pared with Andrew and could not be happier that I chose Generational Equity to handle this major life event. Thank you Andrew and GenEq for everything!Eric Erlandson, Owner, Action Fastenings, Inc.
I wanted to write you a quick letter to express our appreciation and our delight on the outcome of helping us through the process of our recent sale. We are very happy with the end result, and are very happy to be able to move forward with all of our future growth plans.Terry D. Wickman, President, Keytroller
I decided to attend the conference and hopefully receive some guidance on how to structure an exit plan of my business. Upon arriving at the conference, I was so impressed with the presentation given by Generational Equity that I set a future appointment that week to discuss the possibility of selling my business with their Senior Managing Director David Robinson.JoAnn Ellis, Owner of Fondren 5 Star Kennels
I must say that I have never worked with a more driven, competent and focused individual as Don Ho.Jay Dinnison, Owner of Sharpe Mixers
I would like to thank you and your firm, Generational Equity, for being our valued advisors in our journey.Bil MacLeslie, CEO, ipHouse
The most important contribution I think Ahmad made was with his personality and work ethic. He is sincere, efficient, and very hard working. He was available to me at all times, whether it was for specific detail of the negotiation or just to talk through the bigger picture. He listened, advised, and recommended, but never forced his idea or opinions. In the time we worked together, he became a valued colleague and also a friend.Salvo Stoch, Founder and CEO of Sleeping Partners
We thank you Eric and Generational Equity making our dream come true.Larry Moore, Owner, A Company Portable Restrooms
Greetings Mike. Thank you for the captivating and compelling presentation you made at the Phoenix presentation last week. Over many years in business yours was the most informative and well-presented presentation, on any subject, that I have ever attended! Your energy and enthusiasm combined with your concise and captivating support of your positions with easily understood examples and data was compelling.Pete L.
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