Private equity is an asset class consisting of equity securities and debt in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange and generally regarded as a finance term.
A private equity investment will generally be made by a private equity firm, a venture capital firm or an angel investor. Each individual category of investor has its own preferences, goals and investment strategies; however, all provide working capital to a target company to develop new product, assist in expansion or restructuring of the company’s operations, management, or ownership.
Some of the most common investment strategies in private equity are: leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, distressed investments and mezzanine capital. In a typical leveraged buyout transaction, a private equity firm buys majority control of an existing or mature firm. This is distinct from a venture capital or angel investor, in which the investors invest in young, growing or emerging companies, and rarely obtain majority control.