Practice Area Definition
Private Equity refers to equity and quasi-equity investment activity in non-public markets. This area of law has buy-out, mezzanine and venture capital segments. Buy-out refers to mid-market, private company investments in more traditional industries that are undergoing a fundamental change in ownership, expansion or acquisition. Mezzanine investments are made primarily through subordinated debt or preferred shares. Venture capital investments typically involve new or young companies in innovative industries (technology, life sciences, media/communications). Venture capital investments may also involve late-stage investments in companies with established technology or concepts that require capital to expand production, marketing and sales.
Practice in this area may include assisting with the formation of investment funds, typically limited partnerships, which raise capital to invest in portfolio companies. Practitioners tend to have significant tax, corporate finance and general corporate expertise. Similarly, there may be a role to be played in assisting with the financing by private equity funds or investors in portfolio companies.