Private equity consists of firms and funds that make investments directly into private companies or conduct buyouts of public companies. Private equity, as the name implies, is not traded on public equity exchanges.
Bloomberg’s Private Equity (PE) database brings together data about PE firms, funds, investors and portfolios. In Bloomberg, type PE <GO> for this menu:
Search by Firm – Private equity firms are the general partners controlling the operations of the firm.
Search by Fund – Private equity firms direct their investments through one or more funds. Funds are associated with a specific investment strategy. Venture Capital Funds, for example, are investments in startup firms and small businesses with perceived long-term growth potential. Here is a breakdown of the funds worldwide associated with a specific strategy that is available in Bloomberg.
Strategy Percent of Total
- Venture 28%
- Buyout 25%
- Growth 9%
- Debt 8%
- Fund of Funds 10%
- Real Estate 13%
- Other 8%
Search by Limited Partners – Limited partners are the source of investment funds. They include public and corporate pension funds, insurance companies, endowments, high net worth individuals, and sovereign wealth funds
Search by Deal – Deals can be classified as M&A investment, Joint venture, Spinoff, and Buyback, and then further sub classified as a PE buyout, Infrastructure, Real Asset, Real Estate, Secondary Transaction, or Venture Capital deal. Venture Capital deals include possible subdivisions into Seed, Angel, or Series (A to J).
The screen below shows a search for all PE deals in the past year that had targets in the alternative energy industry.
Search by Private Company – Bloomberg lists more than 15,000 companies in which PE firms invest.
- Clicking on the name of the company will display a record giving the name(s) of the PE firms which include the company in their portfolio, as well as additional information about the company. The record for U.S. Foods, for example, will show that it is held by KKR 2006 Fund.
In addition to its list of PE backed private companies, Bloomberg includes a database of 1.3 million private companies worldwide that are not PE backed.
Other useful features of Bloomberg’s PE include Funds in Market, which gives aggregate statistics by strategy, and Benchmarking and Fund Comparison, which allow the comparison of funds by such features as IRR (internal rate or return).
Take a look also at Bloomberg’s weekly Private Equity Brief
In addition to Bloomberg, the Penn Libraries have several additional databases that provide details of private equity activity. They include Thomson ONE, S&P Capital IQ (available at Lippincott in the Yablon Financial Resources Lab) , Preqin, and CB-Insights.
Also see our Research Guide: Venture Capital and Private Equity.