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Back to blog April 28, 2017 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Most Active Private Equity Firms

If you are considering financial buyers to close your deal, odds are, it won’t be one of the larger private equity firms at the closing table.

In 2016, we consistently added 450 – 500 new private equity portfolio companies to the database every month. While the most acquisitive private equity firms were those brands we all recognize, there was something fundamentally interesting in the data.

Top 25 Most Active Private Equity Firms

(in order of number of investments made in 2016):

  1. Carlyle Group
  2. Ardian (France)
  3. Warburg Pincus
  4. TA Associates
  5. Cathay Capital Private Equity (France)
  6. General Atlantic
  7. Foresight Group (UK)
  8. EQT Partners (Sweden)
  9. IK Investment Partners (Sweden)
  10. GIMV (Belgium)
  11. KKR & Co.
  12. First Reserve
  13. I.G. Capital
  14. Platinum Equity
  15. Providence Equity Partners
  16. Waterland Private Equity Investments (Netherlands)
  17. The Riverside Company
  18. Vista Equity Partners
  19. Abry Partners
  20. Equistone Partners Europe
  21. CVC Capital Partners
  22. Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (Canada)
  23. Business Growth Fund
  24. OrbiMed Advisors
  25. HgCapital (UK)

No surprises so far. These firms are mostly all household names in private equity. But I would like to highlight two points from the data…

First, two of the top ten firms are based in Sweden. Relative to population or GDP, this is somewhat surprising and interesting. Stockholm has become both a technology hub and a financial powerhouse.

Second, while these 25 firms made approximately 13% of the total private equity investments in 2016, the vast majority of transactions (87%) were done by the middle market firms. In fact, nearly 60% of all private equity transactions were closed by firms that only made 1, 2 or 3 investments during the year.

This is why it makes sense to use a M&A research tool like – that includes all the middle market firms – because we do not charge the buy-side firms to be in the database. This gives you greater coverage of the potential buyer universe and increases the odds of closing your deal.