Analysis of sources of return in South African private equity

Van Niekerk, Rudi (2008-12)

Thesis (MBA (Business Management))--Stellenbosch University, 2008.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Private Equity is rapidly growing as an alternative asset class for investors in South Africa. Local and international literature presents overwhelming evidence to suggest that Private Equity offers superior risk-adjusted returns and portfolio diversification benefits. Private Equity managers charge quite substantial fees and investors might be concerned about the sustainability of the returns achieved by these firms. This research report addresses the question of how exactly Private Equity managers are able to achieve their superior returns. Although literature is limited and differing in opinion, several methods were identified as being used by managers to increase returns. A sample of 46 individual investments made by two Private Equity firms representing large buy-outs in South Africa was selected and analysed to quantitatively investigate the relationship between some of the identified sources of return and the Internal Rate of Return achieved on each investment. Surprisingly the relationships were not found to be as strong as expected and in many cases were not supportive of the findings in the literature. Only earnings growth and an increase in the earnings multiple had a significant impact on the IRR achieved according to the sample analysed. The author concludes that investing in Private Equity is too interdisciplinary to distil the sources of return into a few concise elements. Proprietary knowledge, expertise, superior management skills, relationships and experience all seem to play a role in providing Private Equity managers with a competitive edge over their public market counterparts. The sources identified in this report are very relevant. However, to empirically prove the individual relationship between each of those sources and the superior returns achieved by Private Equity managers remains a challenge, as their success is vested in their ability to artfully combine these methods in perpetually different combinations according to the merits of each situation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Private Ekwiteit is besig om vinnig te groei as alternatiewe bateklas vir beleggers in Suid-Afrika. Plaaslike en internasionale literatuur bied oorweldigende bewyse wat dui daarop dat Private Ekwiteit bogemiddelde risiko-aangepaste opbrengste sowel as portefeuljediversifikasie-voordele inhou. Private Ekwiteitbestuurders hef redelike hoë fooie en beleggers mag dalk bekommerd wees oor die vermoë van hierdie maatskappye om hul bogemiddelde opbrengste vol te hou. Hierdie navorsingsverslag adresseer die vraag oor hoe presies Private Ekwiteit- bestuurders dit regkry om bogemiddelde opbrengste te realiseer. Alhoewel die beskikbare literatuur beperk is en opinies daarin vervat verskil, is daar verskeie metodes geïdentifiseer wat bestuurders gebruik om opbrengste te verhoog. `n Steekproef is gekies wat bestaan uit 46 individuele beleggings verteenwoordigend van groot uitkoop-transaksies in Suid Afrika. `n Analise is gedoen om die verhouding tussen geïdentifiseerde bronne van opbrengs en die gerealiseerde Interne Opbrengskoers op `n kwantitatiewe wyse te ondersoek. Die bevindinge was verrassend in die sin dat die verhoudings nie so sterk was soos wat verwag was nie en in baie gevalle was dit glad nie ondersteunend van die bevindinge in die literatuur nie. Slegs verdienstegroei en toename in waardasie-veelvoude het `n beduidende impak gehad op die Interne Opbrengskoers wat behaal is volgens die steekproef wat ontleed is. Die skrywer kom tot die gevolgtrekking dat 'n belegging in Private Ekwiteit te interdissiplinêr is om die bronne van opbrengs te distilleer tot `n paar spesifieke elemente. Inligting, spesialiteits-kennis, fantastiese bestuursvaardighede, persoonlike verhoudings en ervaring is alles elemente wat aan Private Ekwiteit-bestuurders `n mededingende voordeel bied. Die bronne van opbrengs wat in hierdie navorsingsverslag hanteer word, is baie relevant. Dit bly egter `n uitdaging om empiries die individuele verhoudings tussen hierdie bronne en die bogemiddelde opbrengste wat behaal word te bewys, aangesien Private Ekwiteit-bestuurders se sukses juis lê in hul vermoë om kunstig hierdie verskeie metodes te kombineer in ewig veranderende kombinasies na aanleiding van die meriete van elke geval.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/963
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