An equity co-investment (or co-investment) is a minority investment, made directly into an operating company, alongside a financial sponsor or other private equity investor, in a leveraged buyout, recapitalization or growth capital transaction. In certain circumstances, venture capital firms may also seek co-investors.
Private equity firms seek co-investors for several reasons. Most important of these is that co-investments allow a manager to make larger investments without either dedicating too much of the fund’s capital to a single transaction (i.e., exposure issues) or sharing the deal with competing private equity firms. Co-investors bring a friendly source of capital.
Typically, co-investors are existing limited partners in an investment fund managed by the lead financial sponsor in a transaction. Unlike the investment fund however, co-investments are made outside the existing fund and as such co-investors rarely pay management fees or carried interest on an individual investment. Co-investments are typically passive, non-controlling investments, as the private equity firm or firms involved will exercise control and perform monitoring functions. For large private equity fund of funds and other investors, co-investments are a means of increasing exposure to attractive transactions and making investments that have a higher return potential because of the lower economics paid to the general partner. As a result, many private equity firms offer co-investments to their largest and most important investors as an incentive to invest in future funds.
- CalPERS – Private Equity Industry Dictionary
- AltAssets Glossary
- AltAssets: The direct route
- Co-investments in funds of funds and separate accounts
Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.