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An Analysis of the Profitability of Hilton's 2007 Leveraged Buyout

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Leveraged buyouts have gone in and out of popularity over the last four decades. The first wave began in the 1980's with the rising popularity of junk bonds, followed by

Leveraged buyouts have gone in and out of popularity over the last four decades. The first wave began in the 1980's with the rising popularity of junk bonds, followed by years of economic downturn, and then a rise and respective fall from the dot com era. However, in the 2000's, attitudes were high and a period of low interest rates, covenant-lite loans, and relaxed lending conditions gave rise to some of the largest leveraged buyouts in US history. As the name implies, leveraged buyouts are predominantly structured with debt, around 70% of the total transaction value. Private equity firms execute leveraged buyouts on companies in strong industries, who have proven, stable cash flows, with the intent of cutting costs, divesting unneeded assets, and making the chain more efficient. After a time period of five to seven years, the private equity firm exits the deal through an initial public offering of the target company, a sale to another buyer, or dividend recapitalization. The Blackstone Group is one of the largest private equity firms in the US, and, with the favorable leveraged buyout conditions, especially in the real estate market, it wanted to build its real estate portfolio with an acquisition of Hilton Hotels & Resorts. At the time of consideration, Hilton was one of the largest hotel companies in the world, but was beginning to lag compared to its competitors Marriott and Starwood. After months of talks, Hilton agreed to be bought out by Blackstone at $47.50/share, for a total purchase price of $26bn. Blackstone had injected $5.7 of its own equity into the deal. The Great Recession caused a lot of investors to worry about Hilton's debt obligations, and Blackstone was able to restructure a significant portion of the debt to benefit both themselves and their creditors. As new CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta was able to strengthen Hilton by rearranging management, increasing franchising fees, expanding its capital-lite segments, and building more rooms internationally, Hilton was able to grow quicker than its competitors from 2007-2013 while minimizing operating expenses. On December 2, 2013, Hilton went public on the NYSE as HLT. Its enterprise value increased from $26bn to $33bn, and Blackstone was able to achieve an internal rate of return of 19%, while continuing to own 75% of Hilton's shares.

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  • 2017-05

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The Effect of Poison Pills on Long Term Value in Cancelled Transactions

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The purpose of this paper is to study the impact that poison pills have on the value of share prices after the cancellation of a transaction. While various studies have

The purpose of this paper is to study the impact that poison pills have on the value of share prices after the cancellation of a transaction. While various studies have focused on the generic share price impact of poison pills, very few have focused on the impact of poison pills in cancelled transactions. Based on our research and analysis, in cancelled transactions, target firms that have poison pills prior to the transaction and target firms without poison pills generate returns above the announcement date premium and subsequent investment in the S&P 500 when held to the cancellation of the transaction and when held from cancellation to 6 months after the transaction. This analysis can contribute to the argument that holding shares of firms regardless of cancellation risk is preferable to taking profit at announcement date. Additionally, it can contribute to the study of undiscovered pricing impact of poison pills.

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  • 2016-12

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Leveraged Buyouts: Risk Considerations for Exceeding Leverage Limitations

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In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, banking regulators have been taking a more active role in pursing greater financial stability. One area of focus has been on Wall

In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, banking regulators have been taking a more active role in pursing greater financial stability. One area of focus has been on Wall Street banks' leverage lending practices which include leveraged lending activities to fund leveraged buyouts. In March 2013, the Federal Reserve and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency issued guidance urging banks to avoid financing leveraged buyouts in most industries that would put total debt on a company of more than six times its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or Ebitda. Our research, using data on all leveraged buyouts (with EBITDA >$20 million) issued after the guidance, sets out to explain the elements banks consider when exceeding leverage limitations. Initially, we hypothesized that since deals over 6x leverage had higher amounts of debt, they were riskier deals, which would carry over to other risk measures such as yield to maturity on debt and company credit ratings. To analyze this, we obtained a large data set with all LBO deals in the past three years and ran difference-in-means tests on a number of variables such as deal size, credit rating and yield to maturity to determine if deals over 6x leverage had significantly different risk characteristics than deals under 6x leverage. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that deals over 6x leverage had significantly less risk, mainly demonstrated by lower average YTMs, than deals under 6x. One possible explanation of this might be that banks, wanting to ensure they are not fined, will only go through with a deal over 6x leverage if other risk metrics such as yield to maturity are well below average.

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  • 2016-05

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Private Equity Real Estate: Market Analysis and Underwriting for Value-Add Commercial Multifamily Investments

Description

For this thesis, the authors would like to create a hypothetical Private Equity Real Estate Investment firm that focuses on creating value for partners by taking an opportunistic approach to

For this thesis, the authors would like to create a hypothetical Private Equity Real Estate Investment firm that focuses on creating value for partners by taking an opportunistic approach to acquiring under-performing urban multi-family properties with large upside potential for investing. The project will focus on both the market analysis and financial modeling associated with investment strategy and transactions. There is a substantial amount of complexity within commercial real estate and this thesis seeks to offer an accurate and comprehensive documentary of the process, while simplifying it for everyday readers. Additionally, there are a significant amount of risk factors associated with investment decisions, so the best practices from the industry documented in this manuscript are valuable tools for successful investing in the future. To gain the most profound and reliable industry knowledge, the authors leveraged the experience of dozens of industry professionals through research and personal interviews. Through careful analysis, the authors were able to ascertain the current economic position in the real estate cycle and to create a plan for future investing. Additionally, they were able to identify and evaluate a specific asset for purchase. As a result, the authors found that multifamily properties are a sound investment for the next two years and that the company should slowly start to shift directions to office and retail in 2018.

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  • 2016-05

Investing in Sprouts: Leveraged Buyout vs Minority Stake

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This thesis analyzes and evaluates two separate investment opportunities in Sprouts Farmers Market. The discussion analyzes the business, the industry in which it operates and the financials to reach a final conclusion on which investment is favorable.

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  • 2021-05

Investing in Sprouts: Leveraged Buyout vs Minority Stake

Description

This thesis analyzes and evaluates two separate investment opportunities in Sprouts Farmers Market. The discussion analyzes the business, the industry in which it operates and the financials to reach a final conclusion on which investment is favorable.

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Date Created
  • 2021-05

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Private Equity: The Long-Run Impact of Reverse Leveraged Buyouts on Portfolio Companies

Description

Reverse leveraged buyouts (RLBOs) are a common practice for private equity firms across the globe and have been on the receiving end of public scrutiny. While the performance of RLBOs

Reverse leveraged buyouts (RLBOs) are a common practice for private equity firms across the globe and have been on the receiving end of public scrutiny. While the performance of RLBOs has been studied in the past, very few if any works have been published concerning the specific results of reverse leveraged buyout transactions performed by the largest private equity mega-funds specifically. We collected a dataset of 22 transactions and conducted quantitative and qualitative analysis on 18 of the aforementioned transactions in order to determine the magnitude of positive effects that RLBOs had on each company. Less than half of mega-fund RLBOs that had an initial public offerings outperformed the Dow Jones Industrial Average on a compound annual growth (CAGR) basis, post-exit. Even less outperformed the S&P 500 index, and substantially less than that outperformed industry averages. It can clearly be seen that while averages dictate that large scale RLBOs do not seem profitable, there is a noticeable disparity between the success and failure of each deal when looking at price performance. This data makes the argument that while RLBOs are difficult to make successful, if the market receives them well then they can be some of the highest returning transactions.

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Date Created
  • 2016-05

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Pledge Funds: Decisions and Analysis in Various Stages of the Deal Process

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This thesis details our experience assisting BASE Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City, on three prospective agricultural dealership deals over the course of this past

This thesis details our experience assisting BASE Equity Partners, a private equity firm based in New York City, on three prospective agricultural dealership deals over the course of this past academic year. The firm is currently structured as a Fundless Sponsor. This distinct structural trait is common for a type of private equity firm known among practitioners as pledge funds. This creates an interesting element for our experience as there is very limited academic research on these types of firms, which, since the Great Recession, have become popular players in middle-market private equity deals. We, first, provide some historical context on pledge funds and identify their primary differences with traditional private equity. The remainder of the paper documents our experience working on the agricultural dealership deals. We have organized this portion after the manner in which we received assignments. We go into detail on the specific projects with which we were tasked, our interactions with the partners and the major takeaways we had from this learning experience. This thesis paper will enrich the academic knowledge regarding pledge funds—and private equity generally—by documenting a real experience of what it is like performing analyst-level tasks at a real firm. Additionally, we were privy to information that is highly confidential, and though we have protected the confidentiality of the companies through pseudonyms and redaction of confidential material, all of the financial data shown, models provided and qualitative discussion is real.

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  • 2015-05

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Private Equity Reputation: Arbitrage Spreads and Offer Premiums of Public to Private Transactions

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This paper classifies private equity groups (PEGs) seeking to engage in public to private transactions (PTPs) and determines (primarily through an examination of the implied merger arbitrage spread), whether certain

This paper classifies private equity groups (PEGs) seeking to engage in public to private transactions (PTPs) and determines (primarily through an examination of the implied merger arbitrage spread), whether certain reputational factors associated with the private equity industry affect a firm's ability to acquire a publicly-traded company. We use a sample of 1,027 US-based take private transactions announced between January 5, 2009 and August 2, 2018, where 333 transactions consist of private-equity led take-privates, to investigate how merger arbitrage spreads, offer premiums, and deal closure are impacted based on PEG- and PTP-specific input variables. We find that the merger arbitrage spread of PEG-backed deals are 2-3% wider than strategic deals, hostile deals have a greater merger arbitrage spread, larger bid premiums widen spreads and markets accurately identify deals that will close through a narrower spread. PEG deals offer lower premiums, as well as friendly deals and larger deals. Offer premiums are 8.2% larger among deals that eventually consummate. In a logistic regression, we identified that PEG deals are less likely to close than strategic deals, however friendly deals are much more likely to close and Mega Funds are more likely to consummate deals among their PEG peers. These findings support previous research on PTP deals. The insignificance of PEG-classified variables on arbitrage spreads and premiums suggest that investors do not differentiate PEG-backed deals by PEG due to most PEGs equal ability to raise competitive financing. However, Mega Funds are more likely to close deals, and thus, we identify that merger arbitrage spreads should be narrower among this PEG classification.

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  • 2019-05

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Value Creation in Leveraged Buyouts

Description

The following thesis discusses the primary drivers of value creation in a leveraged buyout. Value creation is defined by two broad criteria: enterprise value creation and financial value creation. With

The following thesis discusses the primary drivers of value creation in a leveraged buyout. Value creation is defined by two broad criteria: enterprise value creation and financial value creation. With enterprise value creation, the company itself may be improved, which in turn may have positive implications on the economy at large. As the analysis of enterprise value creation is outside the scope of publicly available information and data, the core focus of this thesis is financial value creation. Financial value creation is defined as the financial returns to a given private equity firm. Amongst this segment of value creation, there are roughly three primary categories responsible for generating returns: financial engineering, governance improvements, and operational improvements. The attached literature review and subsequent chapters of this thesis discuss the academic drivers of value creation and the outputs of a leveraged buyout model conducted on a public company, Schnitzer Steel, that has been determined to be an ideal candidate for a buyout.

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  • 2019-05