Buyouts Magazine is now accepting nominations for its eighth annual Deals Of The Year Awards, which honor exceptional majority-stake transactions, LBO firms and other industry participants. This year, we’ll be shifting our focus to exits rather than announced deals, and we’ve also added two new awards: Best New Firm and Law Firm Of The Year.
Winners will be selected in 14 categories, and results will be published in a special yearbook to be distributed along with the March 17 edition of Buyouts magazine. Awards will be announced prior to the distribution of the yearbook at the Buyouts Awards Dinner, part of the 20th annual Buyouts East conference (www.buyoutsconferences.com), being held March 4 and 5 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City.
What are the qualifications?
• To be considered for the Deal Of The Year awards in various size categories, the original purchase must involve a majority-stake purchase, full or partial private equity sponsorship, and result in the target company remaining private or going private. (Thus, transactions such as PIPEs and the merger of two public companies will not be considered.)
• The LBO firm must have exited at least the majority of its equity position, and therefore must no longer be the lead investor. We will consider deals where the LBO firm retains a small equity position. Exits can take the form of a sale to another private equity firm, a strategic buyer or an IPO.
• The LBO firm must be headquartered in the United States.
• The exit must have closed in 2007 (but could have been agreed to or announced in 2006). With the exception of the European and Emerging Market deals of the year, we will consider U.S. transactions only.
• There is no minimum deal size, but it’s unlikely that we would strongly consider a deal with an enterprise value of less than $10 million.
• We will recognize the lead sponsor of a deal and potentially co-sponsors, if they played a significant role.
What types of transactions generally win?
Listed below are the most significant criteria upon which the deal-related entries will be judged by the editors of Buyouts Magazine. Most award-winners will be exceptional in one or two of these areas, and it is not necessary to excel in all of them to win. For non-deal related categories, see the specific award descriptions on page 21 for the criteria.
• Origination (i.e. Was the deal proprietary?)
• Innovation (i.e. How was your approach unique?)
• Timeliness (i.e. How quickly and efficiently was the deal agreed to and financed? What obstacles were overcome?)
• Financing structure and subsequent refinancings
• Operational and personnel improvements
• Exit (i.e. How well were options vetted? How good was the timing?)
What exactly should be submitted?
Submissions for awards must include the following:
• As for the initial purchase, please submit the target name, purchase price and details of the capital structure post-closing. We’d also like details on the condition of the company when you purchased it. Please supply such details as trailing 12-months revenue, EBITDA, number of employees, factories, and other relevant financial metrics.
• As for the exit, we’d like to know the sale price, the date of purchase agreement and closing, and the names of all parties involved (other sponsors, law firms, accounting firms, investment banks, etc.). Please supply trailing 12-months revenue, EBITDA, number of employees, factories, and other relevant financial metrics.
• An explanation of how much value was created during your ownership through organic growth and add-on acquisitions. For any add-on acquisitions, please provide timing, purchase price, and relevant financial metrics.
• Executive summary of the deal, highlighting those aspects of the deal that make it most deserving of recognition, not to exceed 200 words.
• Bullet point highlights of no more than 2 pages, or an essay not to exceed 1,000 words describing why the transaction deserves an award, based on the criteria listed on page 20.
• The strongest entries will provide supporting details, anecdotes, and independent, third-party evaluations. We welcome contact information for third parties who could discuss the transaction.
• Any relevant backup documentation, including press clippings, etc.
What is the deadline?
Deals can be submitted for as many categories as you like. Also, there is no penalty for one firm nominating multiple deals for one category. SUBMISSIONS must be received by Friday, Jan. 18, 2008, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Mark Cecil c/o Buyouts Magazine Awards, 425 Market St., 6th floor, San Francisco, CA, 94105. Email is preferred. Please refrain from calling with individual pitches.
Will anyone be in contact with me before the winners are announced?
The editors of Buyouts Magazine will be the judges of all entries. They may call with additional questions about your transaction. Whether they call you or not has no bearing on your chances of winning.
Who do I contact with questions?
Events Editor Mark Cecil at email@example.com
What are the award categories?
Small Market Deal Of The Year: Recognizing the sale of a company with an enterprise value at the time of the exit of up to $200 million
Middle Market Deal Of The Year: Recognizing the sale of a company with an enterprise value at the time of the exit of $200 million to $1 billion.
Large Market Deal Of The Year: Recognizing the sale of a company with an enterprise value at the time of the exit of $1 billion to $5 billion
Mega Market Deal Of The Year: Recognizing the sale of a company with an enterprise value at the time of the exit of over $5 billion
European Deal Of The Year: Recognizing the exit of a company with headquarters in Europe. This deal can be of any size.
Emerging Market Deal Of The Year: Must involve a target from an emerging market, a term which we define liberally to include non-investment-grade countries as well as others whose LBO markets are still nascent, such as in Latin America and Asia. This deal can be of any size.
Turnaround Of The Year: Defined as a situation where the LBO sponsor acquired a depressed or struggling company and made significant, identifiable improvements. The improvements can have been made before 2007, but the exit must have come in 2007. This deal can be of any size.
Deal Of The Year: The greatest LBO exit of 2007. This will be given to the single deal that stands out for its innovation and execution. It is not necessary to submit a separate application for Deal Of The Year if you have entered for one of the other deal categories. This deal can be of any size.
Buyout Firm Of The Year: Our most prestigious award. We’ll be looking at every aspect of a firm’s activity in 2007, including LBO transactions, fundraising, exits, personnel moves and portfolio management.
Best New Firm: Recognizing a firm that is investing from its first fund. When judging this firm’s success, we would prefer the evidence of multiple exits. Firms that have had fewer exits will be considered, if the exits are of a very high quality.
Large Lender Of The Year: This award will recognize the lender that best served the large end of the buyout market through timeliness, flexibility, or creativity in financing one or more transactions.
Middle Market Lender Of The Year: This award will recognize the lender that best served the middle market with timeliness, flexibility, or creativity in financing one or more transactions.
Middle Market Investment Bank of The Year: This recognizes the most outstanding investment bank in the middle market. While an I-bank’s level of activity will play a significant factor, we’ll also be looking at innovation, flexibility, timeliness, deal prices, the ability to overcome obstacles, and overall reputation in the marketplace.
Law Firm Of The Year: This award recognizes the most outstanding law firm serving the LBO industry. We will consider firms that advise the leverage buyout industry on both deals and fund formation, and consider their level of activity, unique offerings in their service, and reputation.