Private equity firms are like special clubs where wealthy people and big companies invest their money. These firms are smart and know how to grow money by finding small or struggling companies to invest in.
They're like gardeners who pick plants that aren't doing well, take care of them, and help them grow big and strong. The top twenty firms we're going to talk about in this guide are really good at this.
PE firms know where to look and what to do to make these companies successful. And when these companies do well, the investors' money grows. This is how these firms play an important game of making more money from money.
20 Top Private Equity Firms
Here are the biggest PE firms that are good at making companies successful and helping them grow:
1. The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group has its roots in Washington, D.C., and it's a giant in the investment world. With $385 billion in their care, they've been growing companies since 1987. Their team is spread out over 29 offices globally, with more than 2,200 experts working together.
Recently, they've shifted their focus, giving more attention to lending money rather than just buying companies. They're also stepping into the clean energy field, aiming to build projects that can harness energy from the sun.
Owning trendy brands like Supreme, they're committed to making smart, long-lasting investments. They value a team with different backgrounds because it helps them make better decisions and build stronger businesses.
2. Blackstone Inc.
Blackstone Inc. stands tall in New York, leading the pack as the biggest name in the business of alternative investments, with a whopping $1 trillion they're in charge of.
Since 1985, they've been all about growing companies and making sure investments are smart for the long haul. They have a huge collection of properties and companies, over 12,600 and 230 respectively, which means they're involved in lots of different types of businesses, from stores to technology.
They're not just about making money; they're also keen on creating great places to work and helping businesses get the tools they need to expand.
Blackstone is a place where bright minds work on big ideas, always aiming to do their best without ever taking shortcuts. They're big on teamwork and innovation, always looking for new ways to do things better for the people and companies they invest in.
3. EQT Partners
EQT Partners from Sweden is a smart investment group that's been growing money for almost 30 years. They're good at picking companies to help, with a big focus on being responsible and thinking about the future.
They've got $100 billion to work with and have made some smart moves in Europe, the US, and Asia. In just one year, they collected $57 billion, which is a lot! They're also excited about new tech deals in Japan.
EQT has a bunch of different teams for investing in all sorts of businesses, from small ones needing a little help to big ones looking for a lot. They're known for owning a cool store called Flying Tiger Copenhagen.
With 57 companies they're helping right now and 145 smart people giving advice, they're like a big family working together to make things better for everyone.
4. Thoma Bravo
Thoma Bravo is a company that helps tech and software businesses to grow. They've been in the PE industry for over 40 years and have $131 billion under their belt to invest in these companies.
They're like a helpful friend to these companies, giving them advice and support so they can come up with cool new ideas and get stronger.
They've got a bunch of businesses they're taking care of right now, about 75, and they've finished helping another 75. Some of the most notable companies in Thoma Bravo's portfolio include McAfee, Conga, and Anchorage.
Thoma Bravo is good at finding smart ways to make these tech businesses better and more valuable. It's like they have a magic touch for making software and technology companies successful, and they've done this with hundreds of companies, making a huge impact in the tech world.
5. KKR & Co. Inc.
KKR (Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co.) is a venture capital firm in New York that provides financial assistance to many businesses in their growth stage.
They started in 1976 with just $120,000, and now they have $471 billion to invest. They use it to help all kinds of businesses, like ones that build things, lend money, or own buildings.
KKR is like a helpful friend to these companies, giving them money and advice so they can do better. They also help people who have money to invest, like big funds that pay for retirements, and even families who want to make their money grow.
In just last year, they got $126 billion more to use, which is a huge deal. They're famous for making big moves, like their record-breaking buyouts, and they're always looking for the next big success story.
6. CVC Capital Partners
CVC Capital Partners, hailing from Luxembourg and founded in 1981, manages a hefty $161 billion, making it a powerhouse in helping companies flourish.
They've spread their wings with 25 offices globally and have a stake in over 110 businesses. They're like a super-helper for companies, providing the right tools for growth and success.
CVC stands out for putting importance on responsible and sustainable businesses, ensuring they're good for the environment and society. They're the go-to for many top-tier investors, including pension funds that support community heroes like teachers and firefighters.
As Europe's leading private equity firm in terms of money management, CVC is a key player in guiding businesses towards a bright future.
7. Hg Capital
Hg Capital, with its roots in Europe and a reach that stretches across the Atlantic, is a big name in the tech investment world. They've been around for over 30 years, focusing on software and services that are changing the way we work.
With $135 billion worth of businesses in their care and a team of 400 people in cities like London and New York, they're all about making companies that last and grow.
Hg Capital has made over 200 investments and manages about $65 billion in funds. Hg Capital is the behind-the-scenes hero for many businesses, helping them grow big and strong with smart ideas and support.
They’re like a gardener for struggling companies, nurturing them and making sure they have what they need to bloom.
8. Silver Lake
Silver Lake, founded in 1999, is one of the top private equity firms investing in tech companies. With $101 billion under its belt, it has been helping tech companies since its inception.
Their companies make about $265 billion every year and have more than half a million people working for them.
Silver Lake works with lots of other smart people to make sure the companies they invest in do well, make money, and keep growing in a way that’s good for everyone. They help turn tech ideas into companies that make a real difference in the world.
Their team is spread all over, North America, Europe, and Asia, and they all work together to make big things happen. They look after each company they invest in, thinking about the environment and everyone involved, to build strong businesses that last a long time.
9. Apollo Global Management, Inc.
Apollo Global Management stands out as one of the top players in private equity, with a huge amount of money, $598 billion, to invest in different companies.
They make it their job to help businesses grow and to look after people’s retirement money. They're known for making smart choices in where to put their money, aiming to get good returns while keeping risks low.
Apollo has been around since 1990 and works hard to follow its main rules to be successful. The company was started by three people and now has many offices all around the world. They focus on putting their money into companies that range from security systems to bookstores.
Apollo's reach is global, with offices spanning continents. They're behind some well-known investments, such as security company ADT Inc. and the familiar bookstore chain, Barnes & Noble.
10. Warburg Pincus
Warburg Pincus is a private equity firm, based in New York, that's good at spotting companies that have the potential to get big and strong.
They've been doing this for over 55 years and with $84 billion to work with, they look after more than 250 companies, helping them be the best they can be.
Pincus has a big team working in 14 offices across 10 countries, and they all work together to help businesses. Their team is good at knowing where to invest in many areas like health, the energy that's good for our planet, and technology.
Warburg Pincus ensures they’re set up for lasting success. They’ve poured over $113 billion into companies everywhere to help them shine. They have invested in the information and communication technology sectors, backing companies like Avaya, Harbour Networks, PayScale, and Telcordia.
11. Neuberger Berman Group LLC
Neuberger Berman Group has been around since 1939, focusing on making money grow for people who trust them with their investments. They stand out because everyone who works there owns a part of the company, so they care about doing a good job.
They look after $460 billion, with $70 billion in special areas like private equity, having people in 25 different countries all working to help their clients' money grow.
Neuberger has invested in big companies like Marquee Brands, which owns fashion names, and they're part of the team behind companies that work on making medicines better.
They believe that having a team that really likes investing and sticks around for a long time helps them make better decisions with the money they are trusted with.
12. Vista Equity Partners
Vista Equity Partners is a private equity firm with a focus on growing software companies with over $101 billion under their management. They have spent over 20 years focusing on companies that make software.
Vista has worked on more than 610 projects and helped grow more than 85 companies. They invest in businesses of different sizes, from small ones just getting started to big ones to help these companies get even better at what they do.
Vista has put money into well-known software companies like Citrix, which lets you work from anywhere, and Marketo, which helps businesses on the Internet.
13. Advent International
Advent International is a private equity firm working worldwide and helps small companies grow by giving them money and advice. As of June 2023, Advent International was recognized as the seventh-largest global private equity firm according to the PEI 300 list by Private Equity International.
With $92 billion under its wings, Advent International has invested in more than 375 companies in many places around the world like Europe, America, and Asia.
Advent is in the game of turning today's companies into tomorrow's champions. They've put money into well-known companies, helping big names like biotech firm Genoa and retailer Lululemon become even bigger.
14. General Atlantic
General Atlantic is a New York-based growth equity firm providing capital and strategic support for global businesses. Started in 1980 they have $86 billion under their management. They work with companies in areas like tech, shopping, money stuff, health, and science.
GA works all over the world in places like London, Beijing, and many more, to find smart business ideas that can grow big. They've helped 516 companies get better at what they do.
They have a team of more than 272 smart people, who know how to make companies successful. They like to stick with companies for a long time to make sure they do well.
Some of the notable investment under GA is Slack, the app where people talk to each other at work, and Airbnb, where you find cool places to stay when you travel.
15. Bain Capital
Bain Capital is one of the top private equity firms based in Boston. They're big on making companies grow and do better. Since 1984, they've been teaming up with over a thousand businesses, like famous movie theaters AMC and fast-food giant Burger King, to help them shine.
In just one year, 2021, the companies they helped brought in $111 billion. They also play a huge part in making sure over 585,000 people have jobs through these companies.
Bain's investment strategy involves close partnerships with management teams to nurture and expand companies. With teams spread across four continents, Bain Capital is like a global coach for businesses. Their approach is all about teamwork and growth.
16. TPG Inc.
TPG Inc., previously known as Texas Pacific Group, is a huge private equity firm that helps other companies grow by investing money in them.
With a focus on investing in fresh ideas and helping businesses bloom, TPG manages $213 billion and has a team of 1,800 people working around the world.
TPG has invested in over 300 companies worldwide and they're good at finding smart ways to use money in different areas like healthcare, technology, and lots of others. TPG is like a helpful big brother for these companies.
Since 1992, they've been part of some big deals, buying companies like airlines, pet stores, and even fast-food chains. Now, they also own parts of famous brands like Chobani yogurt, Fender guitars, and Airbnb.
17. Goldman Sachs Capital Partners
Goldman Sachs Capital Partners is part of a big bank named Goldman Sachs. They have been investing in businesses since 1986 to help them grow. The team works in New York City but they reach all over the world.
They like to find businesses that are doing well and help them do even better. Sometimes they give a little money, and sometimes a lot, up to $800 million. Their job is to make the companies they invest in more valuable over time.
Goldman Sachs is also really good at giving advice. They help governments get money for important things like hospitals and roads.
They make sure the money world keeps ticking, so jobs can be made, and towns can get bigger and better. Some notable names in their portfolio are Burger King, SunGard, and Alltel.
18. Leonard Green & Partners
Leonard Green & Partners (LGP) is a private equity firm based in Los Angeles that gives money to help other companies grow. They started in 1989 and have about $70 billion to invest.
They've helped more than 120 companies get better at what they do. They like to join forces with smart people who run companies, especially ones that everyone knows about, like Petco.
LGP's investment goals are to find companies that are already doing well and help them do even better. They mostly like companies that sell stuff people need or help other businesses.
In 2020, they put money into a company called WellSky that uses technology to help sick people and the community.
19. Hellman & Friedman
Hellman & Friedman is a San Francisco-based private equity firm that provides financial assistance to businesses in their growth stage. Since 1984 they have looked for businesses that are already doing well, like those that work with money, give advice, or share information.
With about $92 billion under management and over 100 top-tier investments, Hellman & Friedman stands as a premier private equity firm in the USA.
Hellman & Friedman stands out as a seasoned player in the private equity space, noted for a clear-cut investment strategy that zeroes in on significant equity stakes in select industry sectors.
H&F has made notable investments in companies like Getty Images, Nasdaq, and Verisure. With a robust presence across San Francisco, New York, and London, H&F harnesses its vast experience to steer companies toward growth.
20. Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners, founded in 1999, focuses on tech companies to help them grow big and strong. With about $45 billion raised, they're a big name in the tech world. Their team has made over 400 deals, always picking companies that use tech in smart ways.
Apart from funds they also offer smarts and support, making sure the companies they choose can climb higher. They've poured cash into over 140 primary investments, leading to big numbers like $35 billion in revenues across their family of companies.
With its base in San Francisco and offices in London and New York, FP has its fingers on the pulse of tech everywhere. They were ranked as the 20th biggest private equity firm by Private Equity International.
Fransisco Partners has invested in big names like GoodRx and MyHeritage. Their strategy is like a growth superfood for tech companies, and it's all about making them winners while being good to the world.
How do Private Equity Firms work?
Private equity firms are businesses that buy other companies, make them better, and then sell them for a profit. Here’s how they do it step by step:
- Gathering the Money: Private equity firms start with a money pot. They get this money from people or groups with lots to spend, like rich folks, retirement funds, or even universities.
- Finding the Deal: Next, they hunt for companies that look promising. They search high and low for businesses they think could do well with some extra cash and guidance.
- Boosting the Company: Once they buy a company, they don't just sit back. They roll up their sleeves to make the company better, like fixing up a bike so it can go faster and win races.
- Selling for More: After they've grown the company and it's doing great, they sell it. The hope here is to sell it for more than they paid, like selling a shiny, fixed-up bike for a profit.
In this guide, we discussed 20 of the best private equity firms around the world. They pick companies that need a little extra help, give them what they need, and then, when they're all grown up, they find someone new to take care of them.
Just like the best gardeners make their plants bloom, these firms are good at helping companies do their best. And that's important because when these companies do well, it helps lots of people have jobs and make money. This is why these firms are some of the top ones out there.