Private equity is the capital of a company that is not for sale for general public at stock exchange. Equity securities are privately owned by the owner(S) of the company and they are not publicly traded. Investment in Private equity often involves huge amounts, which is why normally investment organizations like investment banks or mutual funds carry out these investments as an entity. Private equity investors often acquire a company, even if they don’t get the complete ownership of the company, they still hold enough shares to be actively involved in the management and company decisions. That’s the key thing about holding private equity, that you can be instrumental in the company decisions.
The most common investment made in private equity is a leveraged buyout, in which the investor acquires considerably large number of shares in some company, with an amount that is mostly borrowed from small investors. The investor in this case can be some private equity firm or even the manager of the company (who will purchase private equity to have power over the business that he/she has been managing so Far. It is also known as management buyouts. A rarity in the past, leveraged buyouts occurs quite often now days, as more and more institutional investors raise funds to purchase the majority of shares in some operating business. These investing companies then take drastic steps to improve the performance of the business after acquiring control over the business, however leveraged buyouts are not always successful and collapse as often as other businesses.
Any kind of investment in a bankrupt company (or a company that is about to go bankrupt) is called distressed investment (so it’s not the investor who is making some distressed investment decision). These securities are often valued at a lower price than the original value. By nature, it is a risky investment; therefore it has to be handled by experienced investors and not the starters.
Investing as Venture Capital:
Venture Capitals are raised to support big business start ups, Venture Capital is a pool of cash that goes around looking for entrepreneurs with sound business ideas. Entrepreneurs have to rely on Venture Capital when the required amount for start up is too large to be raised by any other mean. Though it means less control for entrepreneurs, still it helps them getting started and executing the idea that has been haunting them for some time.