SEC Examination Topic Trends: Minority Stake Transactions, Co‑Invest Conflicts and Other Concerns (Part Two of Two)

When people consider private equity (PE) transactions, they often focus on the leveraged buyouts of target companies that serve as the foundation for the industry. While those remain the norm, the industry has evolved rapidly, and PE firms are entering into increasingly unique deals in search of greater carried interest opportunities. The SEC has focused intently on these new transactions and other practices in recent examinations of PE sponsors. To highlight some of these recent trends, the Private Equity Law Report interviewed Latham & Watkins partner Nabil Sabki about areas of concern the SEC has probed when examining PE firms. In this article, the second in a two-part series, Sabki talks about conflict of interest concerns from co-invest sell downs and other secondary transactions; questions the agency has asked firms that have sold minority stakes in general partners; and other potential areas of focus in examinations for the remainder of 2019. In the first article, Sabki detailed staff questions around performance reporting when firms use subscription credit facilities, issues prompted by outside business activities of firm personnel and cybersecurity concerns raised in examinations. See “SEC Enforcement Division Annual Report Emphasizes Continuing Focus on Retail Investors, Individual Accountability, Cyber Misconduct and Digital Assets” (Dec. 6, 2018); and “Ten Risk Areas for Private Funds in 2018” (May 3, 2018).

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