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Current and future operational value drivers in private equity investments

  • Private equity investors acquire companies, aim to increase the company’s corporate value and thus aim at selling the respective company at a profit after some time. To increase the value of their portfolio companies, private equity investors employ three main value creation strategies. Financial leverage, multiple expansion, and operational value creation. There has been a significant shift in importance between these three value drivers. While in the 1980s more than 50% of value creation was achieved by leveraging equity with the help of debt capital, this value driver only accounted for 15% in the 2010s. Instead, the value driver operational value creation has gained significantly in importance. It alone accounted for 55% of total value creation in the 2010s, more than financial leverage and multiple expansion combined. The aim of this thesis is to answer the question which operational value creation levers private equity investors use to increase the value of their portfolio companies during the holding phase. In addition, the thesis deals with the question of operational value creation drivers of the future. These are derived based on prevailing megatrends of the future. Research on the operational value drivers used by private equity investors revealed that these drivers can be assigned to three main aspects. These aspects are, on the one hand, financial aspects, where private equity investors take measures to improve working capital. Moreover, within the framework of financial aspects private equity investors influence the cost structure as well as the cost of capital and the capital structure. Furthermore, private equity investors assert influence on the governance structures of their portfolio companies. For the aspect of governance, measures such as replacement of management/change of management structure, monitoring and controlling as well as incentive systems were identified to increase the value of the company. Another identified aspect for value creation are strategic aspects. In terms of strategic aspects, private equity investors use the levers of mergers and acquisitions, organic expansion, outsourcing/insourcing as well as product and pricing strategies. The research on the value creation levers that private equity investors will have to apply in the future in order to ensure value creation of their portfolio companies is based on the megatrends of digitalization, demographic change and sustainability. The research revealed the implementation of digitalization measures, employee, and talent management as well as the implementation of ESG criteria. This thesis has structurally outlined value drivers that contribute to value creation in private equity investments. The research also showed that value creation levers taken can directly and indirectly influence the value of the portfolio company. Value drivers II with a direct effect on the change in equity value affect either revenue, margin or net debt, while the indirect value drivers affect the valuation multiple.

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Author:Paul Johannes Hensel
Advisor:Michael Lederer
Document Type:Bachelor Thesis
Year of Completion:2022
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2022/06/23
Release Date:2022/09/30
Tag:Future operational value drivers; Investments; Private equity
Page Number:58
Degree Program:IBM - International Business Management
Functional area:Finance & Accounting
Open-Access-Status: Closed Access 
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt