And what’s so cool about Private Equity?

-> that it’s private, i.e. for example no masses prevalent that can dump stock to make a company sink.

-> that the underlying is not quoted on a stock market, so you are definitely not following your investment on a day to day basis, but only on a quarter to quarter basis.

-> that each deal is scanned and studied thoroughly, and its price negotiated extensively.

-> that deal exclusivity also leads to price exclusivity.

-> that deal anonymity leads to an unrealistically low Price/Earnings multiple at purchase.

-> that deal transformation and resale at IPO level can translate into huge Price/Earnings ratio differentials – in other words, when the public is allowed to purchase a company on the stock market that has been nurtured by a Private Equity house that has brought it to IPO level, the Private Equity house makes a killing, because it dumps all its shares on to the public in the first 2 days as the IPO opens.

-> that the high management fee, at least till now in India, buys quality professionalism that investigates and seals your investments for you. As of now, there’s less riff-raff in this field in India. Here’s my rating amongst the companies I have dealt with:

1). Milestone Capital – excellent corporate governance, sound real-estate deals, foraying into education and healthcare – the best.
2). ICICI Venture – a very close second. Happy with them. Good appreciation of 65% of deals.
3). Franklin Templeton Private Equity – good, a little slow, but steady.
4). Cinema Capital – ok, nothing unusual till now.
5). Edelweiss – avoid, lack of disclosure.

-> that for another 2-3 years, entry will still be exclusive, and after that the entry barriers will be too low to make the returns being generated currently.

-> that the inflow of foreign funds to India currently is still very small, and can grow exponentially if conditions here keep improving. And what are the bulk of these funds looking for? Private equity holdings.

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