Cumming's Take: The Lost Art of the Quick Flip

Private-equity firms are always willing to sell at the right price, but it sure takes longer to get there than it used to. The average hold period for buyout exits has ranged from a low of 3.3 years in 2008 to a high of 6.1 years in 2014, according to an annual private-equity report from Bain & Company, which looked at average hold times going back to 2004.

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