Private Equity Firms – The Kings of Capitalism

This Economist article declares that private equity firms are the new kings of capitalism, and takes an interesting look at the industry.

"IF YOU made 'Private Equity: the Movie', then Michael Douglas would have to play Schwarzman." The head of one multi-billion-dollar private-equity firm is talking about the head of another, the Blackstone Group's Steve Schwarzman. "I'm joking," he adds quickly, "Steve and I are good friends." Perhaps he realises that comparisons with the fictional Wall Street banker famously portrayed by Mr Douglas, Gordon "greed is good" Gekko, are not what his industry needs just now. In fact, Hollywood has already set its sights on the men who run this enormous, relatively unaccountable pool of capital. This year, the Carlyle Group, a huge private-equity firm, has been vilified in Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11", as well as being named as the inspiration for a fictional private-equity firm that tries to install its brainwashed candidate as American president in the remake of "The Manchurian Candidate".

Yet to study firms such as Blackstone is as good a way as any to find out what is going on at the sharp end of capitalism today. Hedge funds may be sexier, at least for now, but it is surely Mr Schwarzman and his peers in the private-equity industry who control the really smart money and wield the lasting influence. This survey will explain what they do, what challenges they face and what effect they have on the world of business at large.

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  • Charles Rembe

    Good day,

    We are a well – established and fast growing business development consulting group with a specific focus on the facilitation, packaging and structuring of mergers and acquisitions in South Africa. We focus mainly on what is locally termed as “Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)” transactions. Such transactions facilitate the entry of black individuals or companies into the mainstream South African economy due to the history of the country, hence, the major activities in mergers and acquisitions in South Africa that are currently taking place are within the BEE sphere. The main challenge with such transactions is the lack of access to capital by black investors. It is on this backdrop that we have identified a need in the South African market for the establishment of a Private Equity Investment Fund that will be able to enter the mainstream South African market by offering innovative and competitively packaged products. Although there are various institutions funding such transactions in the country, they lack innovation and offer products that are generally in – line with local commercial banks and not sector specific or customised.

    We are now being approached by leading firms within South Africa for the facilitation and packaging of various transactions, ranging from community based projects in rural areas to multi – million rand projects and deals with larger corporations. We are therefore sourcing credible entity/entities that would be interested in exploring a venture of this nature, and any referrals or contacts that you can direct us to would be very much appreciated. It is important to emphasise that we are not seeking hand – outs in terms of funding but are interested in jointly exploring and designing innovative and unique products that can be introduced into the South African market.

    We have designed and developed a unique methodology and approach which is now well known, recognised and highly praised by leading Investment bankers in the country. We utilise in – house designed and developed Financial Models and together with our team of highly skilled, experienced and competent staff are on a significant growth path.

    I have attached a document that will give you a brief background and overview on BEE in South Africa and the current approach followed by funders in funding the various types of transactions as highlighted above.

    Looking forward to your reply.

    Charles Rembe