Private Equity

Private Equity

If you are looking to grow your family business and you are looking at the alternatives available to you to do so private equity might be a solution for you to consider.

What is Private Equity?

In this episode of the show I speak with Dominic Graham, an Investment Director with Waterland a Private Equity house. We discuss the types of private equity that are available and what opportunities it can present.

Partnering with a PE investor allows you to access capital, in exchange for part or all of the ownership of your business. As a part or full owner of the business the private equity investors can add expertise, market knowledge and connections to the running of your business.

It could be a useful way to help fund an exit from the business for those that don’t want to own or work in it and can become a platform for achieving the growth you want to.

There are however some pre-conceptions around private equity that we also address.

Listen to the episode here: 


What Questions should you ask a potential Private Equity Partner?

The key word here is ‘Partnership’. When you partner with a PE Investor there should be as much focus on what you are looking for (if not more) than just the private equity partner performing their due diligence. 

You need to feel comfortable that the partner is the right fit for the business and so some of the questions you might want to ask are: 

  • Do you have a strong track record? 
  • What are your thoughts on my business? 
  • What fees do you charge?
  • How long do you typically hold your investments for?
  • Who is on the investment team I will be working with?
  • What board representation do you require?
  • What will my role be post-transaction 

There are many other questions you might want to ask, but the key is that it is a two way process. 

How to start the process of seeking a Private Equity Partner

If you would like to start the process of looking for a private equity partner, I would suggest that you start with discussions with your family around the merits of this route, you can then approach your legal or accounting professionals. They will be able add their own perspectives and may well have contacts within their network. 

If you become aware of a particular private equity investor that you think would make a good partner, you can contact them directly and they will help you through the process. 

You can find out more about The BVCA by visiting their site: 

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About Waterland

Waterland is an independent private equity investment group that supports entrepreneurs in realising their growth ambitions. With substantial financial resources and committed industry expertise, Waterland enables its portfolio companies to achieve accelerated growth both organically and through acquisitions.

Waterland acts as an active shareholder in its portfolio companies, playing a key role in their strategic and operational development, growth and performance. 

About Dominic Graham

Dominic Graham is Investment Director at Waterland in London, UK. Prior to joining Waterland, he spent four years at OMERS Private Equity Europe (“OPE”) undertaking origination, execution and portfolio management of mid-market investment opportunities in the UK and continental Europe.

Dominic Graham - Private Equity

Most recently as an Associate Director, he worked closely with OPE portfolio companies Civica and Vue Entertainment. Before OPE, Dominic spent four years in corporate finance transaction services at Deloitte in London providing deal and related services, including financial due diligence, to a wide range of corporate and private equity clients across a range of sectors and transaction types. 

During this time, he spent six months on secondment at Element Materials Technology in London, a global Materials Testing business. Dominic has also worked for a financial technology start-up, focusing on the payments market. Dominic holds the ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification (ACA) and a BA Honours degree in Industrial Economics from the University of Nottingham.