What are the biggest private equity firms in London?

London is a hotbed for private equity. The PE industry has flourished extremely well in the region. Consequently, the city is home to some world’s leading private equity firms. CVC Capital Partners, Apax Partners, Permira Advisors, and Bridge Point are the four largest private equity firms headquartered in London, according to Private Equity International.

We will delve into the details of the firms, but first, let’s understand what private equity is.

Private equity

PE firms generate revenue by investing in other companies. The firm may buy a stake in a private company and offer capital for expansion and growth projects or may buy a controlling stake in a public company by the leveraged buyout. The capital required for these companies is raised by the firm from institutional investors or high net worth individuals. The period of investment ranges between 5 and 10 years.

CVC Capital Partners

The firm was found in 1981 as an investment division of the Citi Group. As of 2020, the firm manages over $82.4 billion in AUM. This makes the largest PE firm in London and one of the largest private equity firms in the world.

The firm engages in a gamut of investment activities including PE investing, venture capital investments, LBOs, recapitalization, and acquisition. CVC Capital primarily focuses on investing in large or medium-sized companies across technology, telecommunications, financial services, healthcare, and energy. Infrastructure, such as public utilities and transportation are focus areas of investment for the firm in Europe.

Europe, Asia, North America, the Middle East, and Australia are primary regions for investment for the firm. In Europe and America, CVC Capital invests in enterprises that value between 500 million euros and 5 billion euros, with a minimum of 5 years of investment. The firm usually gets a seat on the board of directors in its portfolio of companies.

Additionally, CVC Capital operates a private equity debt firm, CVC Credit Partners, that lends capital to companies owned by private equity funds.

Currently, CVC Capital has 86 companies in its portfolio, with investments in retail, service, and manufacturing. Some of the leading investments in its portfolio include Alvogen, Breitling, and Petco. The firm has nearly 23 offices spread across Europe, The United States, and Asia.

Apax Partners

Apax was originally named as a venture capital business. In the 1980s and early 1990s, the company was a leader in U.S. and European investments. The firm began to specialize in specific sectors to grow country funds in the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Israel.

Apax was originally named Venture Capital Business. The firm was once a leader in the U.S. and European private equity landscape. Apax started to invest in buyouts in 1993. The firm has raised 30.8 billion euros in buyout funds. In May 2020, the company had 50 billion dollars in raised funds.

The company invests in large enterprises across technology, telecommunication, healthcare, and consumer goods. The firm employs over 220 people and has seven offices in three continents. Apax opened offices in China in 2005 and 2008, and India in 2006.

Bridge Point Capital

Founded in 1984, the Bridge Point Capital has nearly $20 billion in AUM. The firm primarily invests in middle-market European companies that offer financial, consumer, business, and healthcare services, and are valued up to $1 billion. Geographically, the investments are located in Italy, Germany, Turkey, China, France, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland.

Burger King, Casino France Operations, and Fat Face are a few notable companies in which the company holds stakes. The firm is also known for acquiring a 50% stake in 13 theatres of the London-based West End theatres in 1993, via equity interest in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Theatre Group.

In addition to investing in enterprises, the firm also invests in small-cap companies, valued between 30 million euros and 200 million euros, through Bridgepoint Development Capital. The firm has 12 offices, spread across Europe, the United States, and China.

Getting into a top private equity firm

Being top private equity firms in the city and the world, these firms attract the best of talent. Private equity investment professionals working at these firms enjoy great perks, benefits, and salary. Certifications like CPEP (Chartered Private Equity Professional) can open doors to opportunities at these firms. The certification demonstrates your expertise in technical skills like financial modeling, valuation, due diligence, deal structuring, as well as non-technical skills like deal-making, portfolio management, fundraising, and more, required to excel as a private equity professional. So go ahead, take the certification, and open the door to a prospering career in private equity at a top firm.


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