Private equity acquisitions of Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) companies have accelerated in recent years as PE firms employ an industry roll-up and consolidation strategy in this traditionally fragmented space.
The single best metric of a private equity firm’s appetite for a particular industry is the constitution of their portfolio – investments they have already made. For this, we produce a monthly PE Industry Trends report, based on completed private equity deals.
We reviewed our private equity database for 2021 platform acquisitions to determine the most active investment banking firms closing deals with private equity acquirers. Here are the top 10 I-banks, ranked by number of deals closed as PE platform acquisitions.
Traditionally, Construction has not been a preferred industry of interest for private equity firms, precisely because it is often capital intensive and cyclical.
However, the Private Equity Info Research Database currently tracks 393 unique portfolio companies in the Construction space, collectively owned by 321 unique private equity firms. Clearly, there is now PE appetite in the construction space.
Top PE Firms Investing in the Construction Industry
The following PE firms hold at least 3 current platform investments in construction companies.
Portfolio company aging stats are dictated by past acquisition activity and exit rates over time.
As portfolio companies grow older in their respective funds, they age out, via an exit, often within 3 – 7 years. Portfolio companies in the 5 – 7 year vintage signal potential near-term transactions – deal flow – the lifeblood of investment banks, private equity firms, accountants, law firms, and a host of M&A service providers.
For U.S. portfolio companies owned by U.S.-based private equity firms, there are currently:
1,225 portfolio companies currently aged (5 – 5.9 years)
997 portfolio companies currently aged (6 – 6.9 years)
776 portfolio companies currently aged (7 – 7.9 years)
If we stand on the 5-year mark and look upstream at the parade of portfolio companies approaching their five-year anniversary in their respective funds, we’ll see the monthly aging flow shown in the graph below.
We reviewed all private equity platform investments in 2021 and ranked them by industry. The following Top 10 industries represent nearly half of all private equity platform acquisitions in 2021:
TOP 10 INDUSTRIES
Food & Beverage
The chart below shows each of these industries as a percentage of the total PE platform acquisitions in 2021. Clearly, Software was the major industry of interest for private equity in 2021, representing17% of all platform acquisitions.