Private Company Operating Metrics: Global Analysis

Analyzing operating metrics can provide insights into the process by which private equity managers execute their strategy. For the first time, this update to our annual report includes comparisons of private equity globally (roughly 8,500 companies in total) with public peers, as well as regional comparisons for approximately 4,000 US-based companies, more than 2,000 European companies, and more than 1,200 Asian companies acquired by PE firms from 2000 through 2018. Our analysis encompasses key metrics such as purchase price multiples, leverage multiples, revenue growth, earnings (EBITDA) growth, and earnings (EBITDA) margins. We compare metrics and trends across Asia, Europe, and the United States. We then take a closer look at comparisons between private and public companies in Europe and Asia. The data illuminate the key levers and value drivers in private equity, as well as the risks and returns of private equity versus public equity.