Deals of the year, and what a year it was

We toast the work of six private equity firms for their highly successful deals made in 2021. Francisco Partners takes the top prize with its carve-out of medical device maker Capsule Technologies.

Our annual package celebrating the best exits of 2021 covers six categories: Large Market, Small Market, Turnarounds, Secondaries, International and the overall Deal of the Year (falling under the Mid-Market category). The latter award goes to Francisco Partners and its carve-out of medical device maker Capsule Technologies, which was bought by Royal Philips for $635 million last year.

As spring rolls around, many will be thinking about playing as much golf as possible, and the Turnaround Deal of the Year highlights KPS Capital’s deft retooling of storied golf equipment maker TaylorMade, which was the beneficiary of the game’s newfound popularity during covid as both experienced golfers and newcomers hit the links as a way of escaping lockdown-induced cabin fever. Before KPS purchased the firm, TaylorMade was shanking and slicing as it racked up large operating losses. KPS’s David Shapiro knew that TaylorMade could be rescued: “We saw a very good company and very good management tucked away in a large organization.” Sure enough, after KPS worked its magic, TaylorMade is back to shooting birdies, with adjusted EBITDA going from negative $7 million at acquisition to approximately $200 million in 2021.

Our criteria for picking winners include familiar metrics such as multiples on invested capital, internal rates of return, EBITDA, employee retention and expansion, portfolio company growth and organic growth of companies. We also look at investment rationale and plans as well as methods of growth and how exits were made.