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Private equity is a term used to describe investment in private, unquoted companies.
The term private equity covers a wide spectrum of investments, from early-stage investment in start-up companies capitalised at less than £1m (venture capital) to acquisitions of larger established companies of all sizes (buyouts). ICG Enterprise focuses on buyouts as we believe this part of the market best enables us to meet our objective of generating strong and consistent returns for our shareholders, while limiting downside risk.
A buyout typically involves the purchase of a majority or a significant minority of the equity of a well-established, profitable company by one or more private equity funds, which invest alongside the existing management team (a Management Buyout or MBO) or a new management team (a Management Buyin or MBI). The sellers may be the founders or other individuals, or larger companies seeking to divest subsidiaries or another private equity firm selling an investment. Quoted companies may also be acquired by private equity investors in public to private transactions.