A private equity firm is an investment company that uses its funds or funds of its investors to invest in the private equity of a startup or an existing company. It may invest in other companies through different routes, such as leveraged buyouts, venture capital and growth capital. These firms are not listed, and thus, their shares are not available to trade. Since they are not listed, they also face fewer regulations when compared to a public company. Investors in a private equity firm are usually high net worth individuals, institutional investors, or venture capital companies. Now, let’s take a look at the biggest private equity firms in the UK.
Biggest private equity firms in the UK
Following are the biggest private equity firms in the UK as per Private Equity International:
Cinven is a global private equity firm with headquarters in London. It was founded in 1977 and has offices in Guernsey, London, New York, Paris, Frankfurt, Milan, Luxembourg, Madrid and Hong Kong. Cinven invests in six categories, including Financial Services, Healthcare, Consumer, Media and Telecommunications, Business Services, Technology and Industrials. The company has a local investment presence across all of Europe’s major markets and in the U.S.
Bridgepoint Capital was founded in 1984 and it has about $20 billion in assets under management. The company primarily invests in financial, consumer, business and healthcare services and in companies valuing up to $1 billion. Bridgepoint has investments in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey and China. Some of its notable investments are Burger King, Casino France Operations and Fat Face.
- BC Partners
BC Partners was founded in 1986 and it has offices in New York, Paris and Hamburg. The company invests across all industries. As per the company, it focuses on “private equity, credit, and real estate, with deep networks across Europe and North America.” The company’s portfolio included 114 companies as of December 31, 2019. One of its most successful realized investments includes General Healthcare and Phones 4u.
- Apax Partners
Founded in 1969, it was originally a venture capital business. It was seen as the leader in the U.S. and European investments in the 1980s and early 1990s. In 1993, the company started to invest in the buyouts. It invests in big companies across healthcare, consumer goods, technology and telecommunications. Apax has offices in New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Tel Aviv, Munich and Shanghai.
Investindustrial is an independent firm that focuses on middle-market companies throughout Southern Europe. Founded in 1990, the company targets investments in Spain and Italy. In November of last year, the company raised around $4.15 billion. The company has a 30-year history of providing mid-market companies with industrial expertise, global platforms, operational focus, capital and a sustainability vision to boost value creation and global expansion.
- Triton Partners
Founded in 1997, the company invests capital where it sees “an opportunity to create long-term value.” It primarily invests in medium-sized companies in Norway, Spain, Sweden, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Triton invests in companies operating in healthcare, consumer, industrial, and business service sectors.
- TDR Capital
TDR Capital was founded in 2002 by Manjit Dale and Stephen Robertson. It not only invests in medium-sized European firms, but also partners with them to help grow their performance. “We drive returns by combining ambitious operational plans for our businesses with a rigorous focus on capital preservation,” the company says. TDR Capital presently manages more than €8 billion of committed capital across three buyout funds.
Hg, founded in 2000, targets technology buyouts primarily in Europe and the U.S. As per the company, its investment approach is targeting Software and Services firms that operate in “Hg clusters” and “growing faster than the broader economy.” Also, it invests in B2B businesses. The company has offices in London, Munich and New York.
- Montagu Private Equity
With headquarters in London, the company was founded in 1968. The company mainly invests in technology, healthcare and essential products and services. Montagu Private Equity specializes in buyouts of performing businesses in Northern Europe. Over the last four decades, the company has invested in more than 400 businesses. It has offices in London, Düsseldorf, Manchester, Paris and Warsaw.
- Equistone Partners Europe
Equistone is an independent investment firm that was founded in 1979 (originally called Barclays Capital). The company operates across Benelux, France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK. It specializes in public-to-private transactions, infusions of growth capital, buy-outs and buy-ins. Equistone usually focuses on companies in support services, travel, manufacturing and engineering, financial services and consumer sectors.
“Our business model involves us having a deep presence in our core markets as a local capital provider,” Equistone says.
Correction: An earlier version of the article wrongly said that Equistone Partners Europe was founded 2002. The article has been corrected with the correct year, which is 1979.