CVC Joins The Rush Of Private Equity Groups Going Public

Image Credit: iStock, fizkes

Sign up for smart news, insights, and analysis on the biggest financial stories of the day.

It may be known for its work in private equity, but the future of Britain’s storied CVC Capital Partners is decidedly public.

According to a Bloomberg report, the 40-year-old buyout firm is working with Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley on a stock-market listing for a potential IPO that could value it above $20 billion. It would be the latest in a series of major PE moves from the back room to the trading floor.

Welcome to the Club

CVC has long been known as an aggressive dealmaker, with stakes in everything from top Spanish soccer league LaLiga to US-based Authentic Brands Group, which owns apparel brands Volcom, Nautica, and Forever 21. The firm recently plopped down $5 billion for a majority stake in Unilever’s tea brands, including Lipton and Brooke Bond.

But despite the impressive reach and scope — CVC has $165 billion in committed capital, according to its website — its private equity competitors have gotten a leg up on accelerating their businesses via IPO:

  • New York-based Blue Owl, UK-based Bridgepoint and Petershill, and Paris-based Antin all listed last year, and have market caps of $17.4 billion, $3.2 billion, $2.6 billion, and $5.2 billion, respectively.
  • Eleven listed private equity firms gained a collective $240 billion in market value through 2021, according to analysis by the Financial Times.

CVC is considering multiple exchanges for its listing, and may even push its valuation as high as $40 billion, based on competitors like EQT, which listed in 2019 and has since seen its valuation multiply six-fold to $44 billion.

Beat To The Punch: CVC won’t even be the first private equity firm to go public this year. Fort Worth-based TPG made its debut on the Nasdaq listing last week, at a valuation of roughly $9 billion. It counts just under $110 billion of assets under its management.