The private equity industry has come a long way since ‘Barbarians at the Gate’, the narrative of the rise and fall of one of the biggest leveraged buyouts in history first hit the shelves in the 1980s. Since then, the nature of these buyouts and their sponsors has been scrutinised and regulated. But far from this diminishing interest in them, their popularity has surged – PE firms in the US alone now hold some $4tn of assets. The industry has benefited from an unprecedented wave of investor interest, supported by exuberant equity markets, low rates and steady GDP growth. Dry powder (the jargon for unutilised raised capital) is at record levels globally, just waiting to be ignited...
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