Get the Industry Trends Report
Back to blog September 07, 2018 No Comments Author: Andy Jones

Private Equity Firms – Net Exiters

Over the past 12 months, private equity firms have been net acquirers of companies, making about 2.5 platform investments for every 1 platform exit. This significant growth in portfolio company ownership is buoyed by more private equity firms in the market and larger funds with more committed capital than ever before.

Contrary to this trend, 245 private equity firms in our database have taken advantage of the recent high valuations (relative to historical standards) and have become net exiters of portfolio companies over the last 12 months. Collectively, these 245 private equity firms exited 492 platform investments and only acquired 137 new platform companies – a ratio of 3.6 exits for every investment.

Excluding these 245 net exiters, the remaining private equity firms in our database (neutral or net acquirers) acquired 4.2 new platform companies for every exit.

Dividing the private equity universe into these two camps – one camp is growing 400% through acquisitions while the other camp (by far the minority) is reducing their ownership positions at almost the same pace. Does one camp know something that the other camp does not, or is this just the statistics of the timing of fund life cycles? In other words, is this significant?

Is this significant?

Well, maybe. Of notable interest it that The Riverside Company is on the list of net exiters. I mention Riverside in particular because they were on my list of “Smart Contrarian Firms” and “Firms That Seemed Omniscient” back in the 2007 – 2010 period. Riverside was one of the very few firms that seemed to get the timing right, exiting portfolio companies in 2007 at the market peak, just before the last recession and then also acquiring companies again in 2010 before the market began its long bull run. Only a few private equity firms correctly timed the market like that during the last market cycle.

25 Private Equity Firms with at Least 3 More Exits Than Investments

Within the camp of 245 net exiters, there are 25 firms that made at least 3 more exits than investments in the last 12 months.

Top 25 private equity net exiters of portfolio companies


In Order of Most Net Platform Exits

  1. Cinven
  2. HgCapital
  3. Charter Oak Equity
  4. Caird Capital
  5. Olympus Partners
  6. ABS Capital Partners
  7. Search Fund Partners
  8. HQ Equita
  9. Bunker Hill Capital
  10. Rutland Partners
  11. Mekong Capital
  12. Avedon Capital Partners
  13. DC Capital Partners
  14. Tandem Expansion Fund
  15. Tonka Bay Equity Partners
  16. WindRose Health Investors
  17. Herkules Capital
  18. Ratos
  19. Edgewater Funds, The
  20. Nord Holding
  21. BaltCap Management
  22. Pine Brook Partners
  23. CapMan
  24. Stephens Capital Partners
  25. Riverside Company, The

This data study pulls portfolio company transaction data from our private equity research database at