PE firms adopt alternatives for better returns

PE firms adopt alternatives for better returns


New Delhi: Private equity firms that are going through troubled times across the world, have resorted to various alternatives including diversification of their portfolio to adjust to the present economic constraints.

PE firms are mainly diversifying into infrastructure assets, debt funds and energy technology investments, as institutional investors believe there would be stable cash flows into these sectors.

“I think what you are going to see is a natural evolution of firms taking their networks and their brand into other fields where they can get a return," global PE and investment advisory firm CVC Capital Partners Partner Marc St John said.

PricewaterhouseCoopers in its Global Private Equity Report 2008 has said “private equity firms are taking advantage of financial turmoil to diversify either by buying new investment businesses from within troubled banks or by hiring experienced investment banking executives who can spearhead expansion into new asset classes and geographies."

“Institutional investors have an appetite because they consider the stable cash flows of infrastructure assets such as toll roads and power stations resilient to fluctuating market conditions," the PwC report added.

Meanwhile, the report also highlighted that, “developing countries such as China and India recognise the critical role infrastructure plays in supporting economic growth."

Debt funds are a further example of diversification into an asset class where private equity-type investment skills are relevant.

“In the current environment, where banks have struggled to syndicate leveraged debt, there are unique opportunities for traditional private equity managers who have developed deep expertise through decades of structuring leveraged financed buyouts," the report said.