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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 reputational factors associated with the private equity industry affect a

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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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 years of economic downturn, and then a rise and respective

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

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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

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

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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 academic year. The firm is currently structured as a Fundless

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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A Study on Occupational Fraud within Small Businesses

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The main goal of this study was to understand the awareness of small business owners regarding occupational fraud, meaning fraud committed from within an organization. A survey/questionnaire was used to gather insight into the knowledge and perceptions of small business

The main goal of this study was to understand the awareness of small business owners regarding occupational fraud, meaning fraud committed from within an organization. A survey/questionnaire was used to gather insight into the knowledge and perceptions of small business owners, while also obtaining information about the history of fraud and the internal controls within their business. Twenty-four owners of businesses with less than 100 employees participated in the study. The results suggest that small business owners overestimate their knowledge regarding internal controls and occupational fraud, while also underestimating the risk of fraud within their own business. In fact, 92% of participants were not at all familiar with the popular Internal Control \u2014 Integrated Framework published by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. The results also show that small business owners tend to overestimate the protection provided by their currently implemented controls in regard to their risk of fraud. Overall, through continued knowledge of internal controls and occupational fraud, business owners can better protect their businesses from the risk of occupational fraud by increasing their awareness of fraud.

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2014-05

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Internal Controls at a Startup Yoga Studio: No Flexible Matter

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Within this paper I summarize the key features, and results, of research conducted to support the development, design, and implementation of an internal control system at a startup small business. These efforts were conducted for an Honors Thesis/Creative Project for

Within this paper I summarize the key features, and results, of research conducted to support the development, design, and implementation of an internal control system at a startup small business. These efforts were conducted for an Honors Thesis/Creative Project for Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. The research revolved around deciding which financial policies, procedures, and safeguards could be useful in creating an internal control system for small businesses. In addition to academic research, I developed an “Internal Control Questionnaire” for use as a ‘jumping off point’ in conversations about a business’ existing accounting system. This questionnaire is applicable across many industries, covering the major topics which every small business/startup should consider.

The questionnaire was then used in conjunction with two interviews of small business owners. The interviews covered both the overall financial status of their business and their business’ pre-existing accounting system. The feedback received during these interviews was subsequently used to provide the business owners with eleven recommendations ranging from the implementation of new policies to verification of existing internal controls.

Finally, I summarize my findings, both academic and real-world, conveying that many small business owners do not implement formal internal control systems. I also discuss why the business owners, in this specific circumstance, did not yet implement the aforementioned eleven suggestions.

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2019-05