Riding the waves of the pandemic: How private equity strategies are evolving

Nick Gallagher, Executive at Gambit Corporate Finance LLP considers how private equity strategies have evolved since the onset of the pandemic, analysing the key drivers of investment activity and the key considerations for SMEs exploring the private equity landscape.

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The global private equity landscape has undergone significant transformation since the onset of the pandemic, including a recalibration of sectoral focus to ensure portfolio resilience, renewed investor confidence, evolving due diligence processes, and navigation of numerous macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges including inflation, interest rate rises, supply chain issues and a tightening labour market.

Private equity dealmaking has reached record levels. Globally, 24,722 deals were announced in 2021 with a disclosed aggregate value of $1.2 trillion – more than double total deal values witnessed in 2020 across 17,618 transactions (S&P Global Market Intelligence). In the UK, private equity firms completed 781 takeovers targeting British businesses, the highest level since records began in 1980, with a combined deal value of $85 billion (Refinitiv).

Private equity investment activity is expected to continue its strong trajectory throughout 2022, having rebounded from an initial contraction in dealmaking in Q1 2020 as fund managers paused to consider the full, long-term impact of the pandemic on their portfolios and to reassess future investment strategies.

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