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Private Equity Deals: Top Five Deal Makers of 2011

by Kevin Smith

  • 12 Jan 2012
  • PE

With private equity deal flow in 2011 displaying a post-Lehman high, it is interesting to see which firms were the most active deal makers during this period. Below we have compiled a list of the top five most active private equity firms in 2011. The ranking is based on announced and completed deals and deal values.

#1: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts tops our list having being involved in 44 private equity transactions, investing an aggregate $18.78bn. The firm struck deals across a broad range of industries including financial services, food, healthcare, renewable energy and entertainment. KKR was also involved in the largest transaction of the year, the $7.2bn buyout of Samson Investment Company, alongside Crestview Partners, ITOCHU Corporation and NGP Energy Capital Management.

#2: Bain Capital comes in second in our list with the Boston-based private equity firm investing an aggregate $15.34bn across 33 separate transactions during 2011. The firm’s biggest announced deal was the $3.4bn acquisition of the Tokyo restaurant operator, Skylark Co., Ltd, in October 2011.

#3: London-based Apax Partners holds the third spot in our ranking list having made 26 investments in 2011, investing an aggregate $13.49bn. Apax’s 2011 portfolio has seen the firm invest on a global scale across a broad range of industries from the entertainment sector in Slovakia, to the restaurant and retail sectors in China and Hong Kong, respectively. Interestingly, 16 out of Apax’s 26 investments in 2011 were add-on acquisitions. Apax was one of the investors in the second largest private equity deal of the year, the $6.3bn take private of Kinetic Concepts, Inc., completed in November 2011.  Other investors involved in the deal were CPP Investment Board and Public Sector Pension Investment Board.

#4: Blackstone Group is the fourth largest deal maker of 2011, having being involved in 39 private equity-backed transactions, investing an aggregate $11.67bn. Blackstone’s largest deal of the year was its $3bn ($19 per share) public to private acquisition of US-based Emdeon Inc. The company was acquired for 12.2 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

#5: Fifth on the list is the Carlyle Group, having invested an aggregate $10.59bn over 47 deals. The firms largest private equity deal was its $3.9bn take private of Pharmaceutical Product Development, Inc., alongside Hellman & Friedman, in December 2011. Two other notable investments involving the Carlyle Group include the $1.6bn buyout of RAC, and the $930mn add-on acquisition of Donlen along with portfolio company Hertz, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, and Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity.

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