Global Growth Private Equity

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How does TA differentiate itself from other investors?

  • TA Associates pursues a different strategy than most other private equity firms. We are not a venture capital firm; our focus is on companies that are profitable at the time of our first investment. Similarly, we are not a traditional leveraged buyout firm because we do not always own majority positions in our portfolio companies and we are more focused on growth than financial engineering. We have developed deep expertise in a select group of industries, and we work actively with management to build value. We have extensive industry and financial contacts, built over 45 years through our investments in more than 450 growing companies.

    Our willingness to purchase minority positions in management-owned companies is highly unusual in our industry. We are very comfortable with this approach because we understand that it is the role of management, not the board or the investors, to run the company on a day-to-day basis. We apply this approach to all of our investments, even those where we have purchased a majority position.

What stage investment is preferable at TA?

  • We prefer to invest in companies that are profitable and growing at least 15% per year.

In what industries does TA like to invest?

  • We have historically invested in companies in the technology, healthcare, financial services, consumer and business services industries. However, we are open to review opportunities in any profitable, growing company.

What is TA’s geographic preference?

  • Our focus is on profitable, growing companies based in North America, Europe, India, Asia and other emerging markets.

What is a typical investment size?

  • Our investments span a wide range of sizes and types. We are comfortable investing from $50 million to $500 million in a given transaction, although investment sizes may be smaller in Asia.

Does TA prefer to be a lead investor? Will TA co-invest with others?

  • We prefer to be the lead investor but often invest with other investment firms and strategic investors. We will work with you to build the appropriate shareholder base.

Does TA prefer to have operating control of the company?

  • We prefer to purchase ownership control of the company, but we never seek operating control. We seek to back strong management teams who run their companies on a day-to-day basis.

How long does it take to close an investment?

  • We have developed a process that enables us to move as quickly as needed to close an investment. Typically, we can issue you a commitment within 30 days and close the legal documents within an additional 30 days.

Who makes the investment decision? What is the process?

  • TA's investment committees are composed of at least two senior investment sponsors and two independent Managing Directors who lead this effort and are responsible for all due diligence related to the investment. The final investment decision is made solely by these four or five individuals.

How does TA work with a company after closing the investment?

  • The typical TA Associates investment has four to five formal board meetings a year, but this is largely determined in partnership with management. We encourage the companies in which we invest to use our services whenever needed, and we talk to our management teams regularly on a wide range of issues. Unlike many firms, we typically do not charge for our services.

How does TA work with management as a Board member?

  • We recognize that outstanding companies are built by great executives, not great investors. Management teams run their companies, and we act as a partner with management. We provide assistance in many areas, including strategy, financings, acquisitions, management recruiting and partnering/liquidity opportunities.

What is TA’s holding period for an investment?

  • Our holding period has averaged five years over the last 15 years. The TA funds are raised with 10 to 12-year legal lives so we are, by nature, a long-term investor.

Is TA's preferred exit route an IPO or a merger?

  • We have no preferred exit. Many of our portfolio companies have chosen to complete IPOs over the past several years, but we have extensive experience with both IPOs and sales/mergers as paths to liquidity.

Is TA an alternative to an IPO?

  • In the short term, TA Associates is an attractive alternative to an IPO. First, we can provide substantial liquidity to shareholders while an IPO will likely preclude significant selling. Remaining private may also give you the opportunity to round out your management team and hone your strategy before testing the public market. If you choose to go public later, we will help you put the processes in place to be a successful public company. We can also be very helpful with introductions to investment bankers, potential board members and other parties to maximize the opportunity for a successful public offering.

Why does TA have a subordinated debt fund?

  • TA Associates has raised subordinated debt funds to simplify the process of completing leveraged transactions. These funds enable us to provide two layers of the capital structure in a transaction. Senior lenders find this attractive, and we can complete transactions faster and raise senior debt on more favorable terms as a result.

What is a minority recapitalization?

  • A minority recap is defined as the use of some senior bank debt and equity (and perhaps subordinated debt) from TA Associates to provide liquidity to shareholders in return for less than 50% ownership of equity in the company.

What should I look for in an investor?

  • We believe you should look for industry expertise, investment experience, deep pockets of capital and a personal relationship that works. Most private equity investors will value a company within 10%-15% of each other, so qualitative factors should be very important in your decision. You will be selecting a business partner, and you should feel very comfortable with the individual and firm you choose for this critical relationship.

How did the firm’s name, TA Associates, come about?

  • TA Associates was originally a separate partnership formed in the late 1960s, affiliated with Tucker, Anthony & R. L. Day, which was a New England-based regional brokerage firm. TA has been a separate partnership owned by its Managing Directors since 1978.