Selling Minority Stakes in PE Firms: The Appeal of Stable and Early Income Streams (Part Two of Two)

One of the hottest niche markets in the private equity (PE) industry involves acquiring minority stakes in the management companies and general partners (GPs) of PE firms. Sponsors are forming dedicated GP-stake funds to purchase these minority interests because of the attractive economics involved, including the early, stable returns that mitigate the typical J‑curve of PE acquisitions. Selling PE firms find them appealing as well because they can use the proceeds to grow their operations, while also cashing out founders and partners. For more on compensating partners and other employees at PE firms, see “Ways Fund Managers Can Compensate and Incentivize Partners and Top Performers” (Dec. 14, 2017). To highlight some of these factors, the Private Equity Law Report interviewed Simpson Thacher partner Peter H. Gilman about some of the recent trends and considerations related to minority stake transactions. In this article, the second in a two-part series, Gilman examines the multiple income streams that buyers of minority stakes access in these transactions, as well as the limitations on how proceeds from these deals can be used by the selling PE sponsors. In the first article, Gilman detailed how the buyers and features of these transactions have evolved over the last decade, as well as key considerations when structuring these deals. For more about acquiring minority stakes in fund managers, see “Seeding, Strategic Stakes and the Evolving Market for Third-Party Investments in Fund Management Businesses” (May 16, 2013).

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