As of December 2014, Carlyle Group has been the most active private equity firm, both in terms of the number of transactions and aggregate transaction size. Currently, Preqin’s Buyout Deals Analyst has recorded 52 deals totalling a sum of $26.6bn for the US-based fund manager. Notable deals that Carlyle Group has participated in this year have included the large-cap buyouts of Acosta Sales & Marketing ($4.8bn), Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. ($4.2bn) and Signode Industrial Group ($3.2bn). However, it is the recent €7.4bn acquisition of Portugal Telecom by its portfolio company Altice S.A. that plants the company firmly at the top of the charts.
Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR), last year’s frontrunner, holds second place in terms of number of transactions, having been an investor in 50 deals with an aggregate transaction size of $14bn. Otherwise, it is interesting to note that only two of 2013’s most active private equity firms, in terms of aggregate transaction size, have made a reappearance this year: 3G Capital and KKR. One explanation for this is that the featured fund managers, such as Cerberus Capital Management, have invested large amounts of capital in a select few portfolio companies.
For the second year in a row, 3G Capital is among the top 10 largest investors in terms of aggregate deal size, all through a single mega-deal (those over $10bn). The private equity firm made the list in 2013 through its $28bn privatization of H.J. Heinz Company, while this year’s appearance is due to the announced $11.5bn add-on acquisition of Tim Horton’s by its portfolio company, Burger King.
Newcomer Hopu Investment Management is the only private equity firm based in Asia to make the list, due to its multi-billion dollar investments in Sinopec Marketing Co., Ltd., Global Logistic Properties Limited and Noble Agri, among others.