Go back a few years and PE was a dirty word in listed equity markets after a number of disastrous floats. Today we are awash with PE floats and fundies are falling over themselves to buy the latest hot issue. Do we have short memories or has something changed? Firstly, the 100% sell down has largely gone with PE vendors often retaining a stake. Secondly, pricing is generally reasonable with something being left on the table for investors. This is mainly due to the very practical realisation that there is a huge pipeline of deals to be done. IPO's such as Mantra and PAS Group will debut at 12x and 9x respectively. These are multiples we consider to be a discount to fair value. PE get to recycle their capital, we get to buy good businesses at fair prices. At its best it is a strategic partnership.
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