Founders and partners of private equity (PE) managers have seen the enterprise value of their firms explode in recent years as the industry has continued its upward ascent. This has led to questions of how they can monetize that value and best position their firms for continued growth. To address this need, several multi-billion-dollar funds have been raised with mandates to buy minority stakes in the management companies and general partners (GPs) of those PE firms, thereby tapping into their consistent management fees and other income streams. In a recent interview with the Private Equity Law Report, Simpson Thacher partner Peter H. Gilman described some of the trends surrounding these transactions and outlined key features for a PE manager to consider before selling a minority stake in its firm. In this article, the first in a two-part series, Gilman discusses the evolution of these transactions over the last decade, as well as the interesting wrinkles and considerations when reorganizing firms to facilitate them. In the second article
, Gilman will describe the economics of these minority stake sales, including the types of income streams that GP-stake buyers acquire in PE firms and how sellers use the proceeds. See our two-part series on fundamental structuring issues for investment advisers: “Separately Managed Accounts, Registration and Securities Laws
” (Oct. 18, 2018); and “Taxation, Organizational Expenses, Redemptions, Publicly Traded Partnerships, Performance Fees and Alternative Structures
” (Nov. 8, 2018).