A lot of PE funds make the claim of adding value operationally. According to PEI, they have been talking the talk, but its mission was to find out who really can walk the walk. Its Operational Excellence Awards in 2013 answers that question again this year. In the large cap category it recognizes 3i, Terra Firma and KPS, along with nine others, including second-time winners Headland Capital and Nordic Capital.
In the Americas, 3i won the large-cap category for its investment in moldings company Mold Masters, which saw revenues grow 60 percent under the firm’s ownership. In the EMEA region, the large-cap category went to Terra Firma for its investment in residential landlord Deutsche Annington, which grew from a set of ten German Federal Rail housing portfolios into the largest privately owned residential landlord in Germany.
This is the second time that the awards were made to acknowledge the achievements of the PE industry’s best-in-class operators. Entries were invited from three regions – Americas, Asia and EMEA, then divided up into three distinct size categories, according to the value of the original deal – large cap (greater than USD500 million), mid-cap (USD50 million to USD500 million) and small-cap (less than USD50 million).
Apparently the nominations were so numerous in the mid-cap category that PEI had to split that category into two – lower mid-market and upper mid-market. From the four groups, 36 finalists emerged. Picking the 12 winners was no easy task for PEI’s three regional panels of industry experts, but tough decisions were made and votes were cast.
Two firms that won awards in last year’s competition took home prizes once again: Headland Capital in the large-cap category in Asia and Nordic Capital in upper mid-cap category EMEA. The rest are first time winners. The judges included David Currie, former chief executive officer of SL Capital Partners; Wai Kay Eik of PwC’s Private Equity Transaction Services group;the University of Chicago’s Steve Kaplan; Tim Kelly of Adams Street Partners and Conor Kehoe of McKinsey’s European private equity practice.