Private equity executives believe the credit crisis will lead to a number of changes in their industry, but exactly what changes are still anyone’s guess.
According to research from Celerant Consulting, an overwhelming majority of respondents (73%) see no recovery in private equity business levels before the first half of 2010, although 23% believe a full recovery will come before the end of 2009. Europeans, notably German and French respondents, are more pessimistic in outlook than their American peers.
Almost all industry executives expect there will be fewer deals over the next year, and most believe that these will be of considerably less value than previously. The research says that consolidation of private-equity firms is clearly one expected consequence of the crisis, but industry executives are just as clear that financing models will have to change appreciably.
In the current environment the vast majority of managers plan to increase the equity/debt ratio of their deals, although no more than one-third is ready to make acquisitions in the current climate without securing debt facilities at all.
In the meantime, p.e. pros surveyed show no urgency to complete deals in this climate. In fact, two-thirds of respondents are prepared to hold off on investments in the expectation of more attractive deals materializing in the future.