PE HUB Wire Highlights, 2.8.19


Private Equity Editor Chris Witkowsky reflects at home. Photo by Wendy Witkowsky

High-profile PE execs hit market with new funds, Buyers take down PSP portfolio as secondaries rages on

Happy Friday!

We’ve been catching some big-name private equity executives making seemingly informal (but probably well-rehearsed) talks at large pension systems. I say informal because these types of executives of the biggest firms in the market are hyped when they speak in public, but these talks in front of their pension clients aren’t usually advertised.

I’m always amazed that these types of talks are buried inside hours of pension board agenda. For us here at Buyouts, this is the gold buried in the ant hill.

LP reporter Dietrich Knauth recently wrote about Jonathan Coslet of TPG talking to a CalPERS board about long-term private equity. This week, he listened toBlackstone’s Private Equity Chief Joe Baratta talking to the Oregon Investment Board about the megafirm’s views on the market.

Unlike many firms that over recent years have tried to burnish their commitments to the middle market, Baratta told the pension officials Blackstone is harvesting opportunities in the “unloved” large side of the market.

“There’s a wide swath of companies in the $3 [billion] to $10 billion market cap of public companies, probably thousands of them in the U.S., that nobody really cares about,” Baratta said.

“They’re not well followed, they’re not well understood, they’re not particularly well managed — that’s where I think we’re going to live over the next five or six years in producing investment opportunities.”

Blackstone also likes to be the first private equity owner of a company, rather than the next in a series of private equity backers.

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