Private equity is an asset class consisting of equity securities and debt in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange.
A private equity investment will generally be made by a private equity firm, a venture capital firm or an angel investor.
Each of these categories of investor has its own set of goals, preferences and investment strategies; however, all provide working capital to a target company to nurture expansion, new-product development, or restructuring of the company’s operations, management, or ownership.
Common investment strategies in private equity include: leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, distressed investments and mezzanine capital.
In a typical leveraged-buyout transaction, a private-equity firm buys majority control of an existing or mature firm.
This is distinct from a venture-capital or growth-capital investment, in which the investors (typically venture-capital firms or angel investors) invest in young, growing or emerging companies, and rarely obtain majority control.
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