The Deal: Private Equity Market Booming As Morgan Stanley Leads League Table

Oct 2 2017 | 8:08pm ET

Private equity firms continue to see a strong climate for deals heading into the final three months of the year, according to new data from TheDeal, as they continue to find attractive opportunities in which to deploy capital. 

The PE market is coming off its best three quarters in nearly four years, the Deal wrote in the report, although the level of dry powder in the industry continues to rise. The report covers the top investment banks, law firms, and PR advisers engaged in private equity transactions globally from January 1 to September 15, 2017. 

Some highlights from the report:

  • Among investment banks, Morgan Stanley topped the list with 80 PE deals, 41 of which represented the sell-side. Rothschild & Co ranked second with 70 deals, 46 of which involved representing the sell-side. Houlihan Lokey finished third with 69 deals, 60 of which it represented the sell-side.
  • Among law firms, Kirkland & Ellis LLP was the top counsel to companies, with 230 deals, 160 of which it represented the buy-side. Latham & Watkins LLP was second with 117 deals. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP ranked third with 96 deals.
  • Among PR firms involved in private equity transactions, Sard Verbinnen & Co. LLC was first with 71 transactions, in 49 of which it represented the buy-side. Abernathy MacGregor Group Inc. came in second, with 66 transactions. Joele Frank, Wilkinson Brimmer Katcher ranked third with 56 transactions.

"Private equity transaction activity remained strong in the third quarter, with deals such as the Bain Capital LLC-led consortium's agreement to acquire Toshiba Corp.'s memory chip unit," said Armie Lee, reporter at The Deal, in a statement. “Advisers to PE firms say they see the deal environment continuing to be robust in the months ahead."

The Deal’s Private Equity League Tables include global deals involving PE firms, either on the buy side or sell side, regardless of whether financial terms were disclosed. Credit is given to all advisory firms involved on the deal, not only firms that advised on the PE side or a PE client. Deal types range from leveraged buyouts, add-on acquisitions, management-backed buyouts and any deal where a PE firm had a stake in the target, buyer or seller. Transactions where the investment implied at least a 30% stake in the target were also included, as were minority investments where PE executives joined target boards.

A business unit of TheStreet.com, The Deal provides coverage of mergers, acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control to institutional investors, private equity, hedge funds and the firms that serve them. 


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