Sponsor-to-sponsor deals aren’t always popular, but they’re certainly in vogue right now.
The first quarter of this year saw a surge in sponsor-to-sponsor, or secondary buyouts, in which one private equity firm sells a portfolio company to another private equity firm (or group of firms). Data provider Preqin reports 24 such transactions last quarter worth $7 billion in deal value, compared to just $5.1 billion for 43 deals in all of 2009. And this doesn’t even include a rash of transactions announced today (see below).
What’s driving the activity? First, private equity pros are desperate to do deals. Despite everyone’s peacocking that ’08 and ’09 were “the best investing opportunities of our lives,” most buyout pros were all talk. The deal volume speaks for itself-PE pros were largely on the sidelines during