Money Trends

Private Equity Market Still Booming

Morgan Stanley Leads Way in Deals Advised

NEW YORK, Oct. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Heading into the fourth quarter private equity firms continue to see a strong climate for deals, while the PE market is coming off its best three quarters in nearly four years, according to The Deal, a business unit of TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST).

Armed with a huge amount of dry powder, private equity firms are finding attractive opportunities in which to deploy capital.

“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. “Advisers to PE firms say they see the deal environment continuing to be robust in the months ahead.”

The Deal’s exclusive League Table ranking covers the top investment banks, law firms, and PR advisers engaged in private equity transactions globally from January 1 to September 15, 2017. Collected data captures advisers to target/seller and acquirer/bidder companies involving transactions.

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 Inc. 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.

Excerpts from the article

Heading into the fourth quarter, advisers to private equity firms continue to see a strong climate for deals. 

“Given the amount of capital sitting on the sidelines in committed funds, I believe that the market will remain robust in the foreseeable future,” said Jamie Wildman, a managing director in the financial sponsors group at William Blair & Co. LLC (No. 11 on The Deal’s private equity league tables for investment banks which take into account announced PE deals this year through Sept. 15). 

PE dry powder stood at about $740 billion, according to the latest data from PitchBook.

Armed with a huge amount of dry powder, private equity firms are finding attractive opportunities in which to deploy capital

“With the market being exceptionally robust and private equity firms regularly receiving inbound interest from both strategic and financial buyers for their assets,” hold periods are often shortening, Wildman said. 

The average holding period is 5.5 years for PE-backed companies globally that were exited so far in 2017, according to Preqin. The average was 5.7 years for companies exited in 2016 and 5.6 in 2015. 

“There’s a lot of discussion around going [to market] now versus later,” Wildman said. 

About The Deal’s Private Equity League Tables

The 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 we’re also included, as were minority investments where PE executives joined target boards.


The full article is available online.




About The Deal
The Deal ( provides actionable, intraday coverage of mergers, acquisitions and all other changes in corporate control to institutional investors, private equity, hedge funds and the firms that serve them. The Deal is a business unit of TheStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: TST,, a leading financial news and information provider. Other business units include TheStreet (, an unbiased source of business news and market analysis for investors; BoardEx (, a relationship mapping service of corporate directors and officers; and RateWatch (, which supplies rate and fee data from banks and credit unions across the U.S.