What is Private Equity?

  •  5 min
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  • 06 Oct 2023
What is Private Equity?

Key Highlights

  • Private equity firms purchase and restore companies with the intention of reselling them for a profit.
  • The private equity funds that the companies create and manage provide the funding for the purchases, usually with the use of debt.
  • Private equity has grown rapidly and tends to be most popular in times of high stock prices and low-interest rates.

Private equity is a type of financing in which capital is invested in a company. Private equity investments are often made into established businesses in established industries in order to earn capital or ownership shares. A bigger, more complex area of the financial landscape known as private markets contains private equity, which is one of its most crucial components.

Along with real estate, venture capital, distressed securities, and so on, PE is an alternative asset class. Alternative asset classes are not considered a traditional type of equity investment, which means that they do not have access to the public markets as easily as stocks and bonds.

There are a number of steps in the private equity process. Firstly, by creating a private equity fund, the group of investors or firms raising capital would gain access to that pool. These funds are then invested in specific companies or groups of companies that have the potential for growth.

In particular, it aims to give those in financial distress to those who need funding for expansion or a regular business the ability to access capital immediately. The inflow of capital is helping these companies overcome their cash flow problems and return to business. As companies improve their operations and become more profitable, private equity investors aim to make a profit from their investments. They generally do not have a position of responsibility for running the company or making business decisions but may offer advice and assistance in developing strategies.

Private equity investors will be able to exit their investments and make a profit once the company has turned its fortunes around. Various strategies, such as the sale of a stake or the facilitation of an initial public offering, can be used to achieve this. The opportunity to access the potential of equity markets and diversify their investment portfolios is offered to high-net-worth individuals by private equity investments. This allows for an opportunity to be part of promising undertakings whose growth potential contributes to their success and benefits from the resulting returns.

The emergence of new ventures that have great growth potential in the future. In order to attract new sources of capital that can finance their expansion and growth, a large number of established companies are going private. However, only investments in private equity should be considered by investors with a high-risk appetite and a high net worth. Do not underestimate the company's previous performance and management expertise before making an investment decision.

The various types of private equity investors are as follows.

1. Growth Capital Investors These investors target more established firms with a need for capital to expand their operations, make acquisitions, and take steps toward progress. Funds are provided to support the company's development.

2. Venture Capitalists These investors are looking for early-stage companies that have great growth potential. They provide funding and technical assistance to start-up firms, helping them set up and grow their businesses.

3. Buyout Funds These investors focus on the acquisition of controlling interests in listed companies and, many times, restructuring and improving their performance to achieve substantial returns.

4. Specialized Funds The sectors that private equity funds pursue include property, infrastructure, healthcare, and technology. Industry-specific knowledge and investment opportunities are brought to the table through these funds.

Private Equity Market in India

In the early 2000s, driven by positive indicators such as a younger population, strong GDP growth, and reduced nonperforming assets, private equity in India faced initial optimism. However, with a peak period of 2005–2008, its performance has been unsatisfactory. Compared to other emerging markets, such as BRICS, the main challenge relates to the scarcity of private firms in India. Before they received the investments, a number of privately owned companies had gone public. Furthermore, after 2011, India's GDP began to decline.

Private equity firms in India offer a variety of services to private companies, including financing assistance, tax and regulatory aid, risk management, corporate financial advice, and forensic services. These services help private enterprises plan for long-term success and navigate the complex regulatory environment.


Finally, private equity in India has proven to be an important source of capital that supports financially distressed companies and contributes to the growth of profitable enterprises. It allows high-net-worth individuals and institutional investors to participate in the growth of promising companies through participation in equity markets, diversification portfolios, or involvement in a company's success. For investing in equities, check out Kotak Securities.

FAQs on Private Equity

The term "private equity" refers to the shares of the owner of the vessel in companies that are not yet listed on the stock exchange.

Private equity, however, presents a risk even though it has the potential to deliver excellent returns. Diversification of portfolios should be carefully considered and advised by financial professionals, whether in private or public markets.

Also, investors can indirectly buy into private equity through products like publicly traded PE stocks, ETFs, and funds of funds that invest in private equity.

The owners of private equity firms make money by buying companies that they think have value and can be improved upon. They're improving the company and making more money. They're also making money when they sell the improved company for more than they paid for it.

The lack of liquidity is one of the major drawbacks since it can be challenging to sell or exit your investment when you invest in a private equity firm. The high costs involved are another downside of private equity.

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