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The New Going-Private Boom

Large public-to-private deals fueled private equity’s big year in 2018.

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The New Going-Private Boom
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At a time when high prices and stiff competition make it difficult to find deals, private equity funds are scouring the public markets for prospects. Strong public-to-private activity in the US pushed the value of these deals globally to its highest level since the previous take-private boom in 2006–07. The reason: Despite the run-up in equity prices, public investors often undervalue companies they don’t understand. As Josh Harris, the cofounder of Apollo Global Management, puts it, “That is creating a very fertile hunting ground for private equity.”

Bain partner Hugh MacArthur is a director in the firm’s Boston office and head of Bain’s Global Private Equity practice.

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