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I just finished "The Private Equity Playbook". It came as a highly recommended book by a friend and I now have a bird's eye of the PE ballpark.
Enough to be inspired & motivated to put more time & focus towards the industry.
I highly recommend the book to anyone who's looking to get a lay of the PE land, the differences between VCs & buyout funds, and how it could benefit them (as an investor in the space, or an employee at PE-backed firms, or perhaps as a business owner who's considering selling to a PE-backed firm, and even a consultant serving the industry).
After listening to Adam talk in person at MegaSuccess & Empire Builder I can say he is one of the highest level players in his field, his service in the US Army set him up to be a huge success which he has built on multiple times and continues to do so. He has the keys to get the most out of the situation, how to evaluate it and more. Brilliantly written, Adam Coffey shows you how PE VC can work in all manner of ways in a book that describes the sector from different perspectives, from start to finish this book is packed with the knowledge you need if we are to cultivate a successful business and navigate these waters to gain maximum value for our future.
This book was absolutely phenomenal. Adam has a unique ability to break down the most complicated concepts into digestible, understandable information. I haven't sat down to read a book cover to cover in a very long time, and besides sleeping a few hours, I didn't put this one down! An absolute must read for anyone wanting to understand not only private equity and how to scale, but also anyone who wants to gain a better understanding of business. Thank you, Adam for this book and looking forward to the next. You have gained a lifetime fan!
I read the paperback version - 177 pages. Well-written, read it in one day. Written as if it was a playbook for football, etc. Explains the field of private equity, the rules of the game and describes the players. It uses two examples - Josh who has a business to sell and Rose who has a very responsible job, but is being pursued by private equity companies to work for them. He explains how to evaluate the characteristics of private equity in each of these two scenarios. He carefully labels the approaches of private equity in various circumstances as "neither good or bad, just different."
The author has managed three different companies which have gone through the private equity process. He discusses shareholder agreements, employee contracts and generating wealth. He recognizes that an owner who wishes to sell the business may have different motives - such as, to retire, recognize wealth, continue to operate and grown the business. He encourages owners to recognize the wealth building opportunities from private equity's general need to purchase, grow and sell businesses in 3-7 years because of the structure of private equity.
The book explains the sale process, what to expect after the sale has closed, and how to work with the previous owner's new masters. The world is now different and the prior owner who plans to stay on would be wise to recognize the expectations and business demands of private equity. The new masters can bring new knowledge and experience to the business that can be valuable.
Ebitda - it's not the same as cash flow. It's now important and the book gives some practical examples of how ii differs from cash flow. The author encourages the seller of a business to get good accounting, tax and legal advice.
The name of the game is growth. How do you get bigger? Organic, margin expansion and bolt-on acquisitions are strategies employed by private equity to do this. Ultimately, unless the business grows and prospers, private equity doesn't make money. The principals at the private equity firm who authorized the purchase suffer financially and professionally as well. The private equity principals will resist these losses and you may lose as well.
If you are Rose, the book offers advice as well. However, deciding to work for private equity requires a careful analysis of where you are professionally now, what role you are being asked to play and the fit (chemistry) between you as Rose and the private equity principals who actively recruit you. One point the book does make is that it is almost universally accepted in private equity that if a senior executive is not performing at a high level, they should be terminated posthaste. Keep this in mind if you're being recruited.
If I have a criticism of the book and I didn't deduct for this, it's that it doesn't go into failure. I think that the book outlines what could happen that would lead to failure.
If the topic interests you, the book is well worth your time.
I purchased "The Private Equity Playbook" by Adam Coffey and, frankly, I couldn't put it down. As a former owner of a nationally recognized middle-market service company. I wish that I had this book a few years ago. The author states that his book is a primer on the private equity business, but I believe that it is much more--I've read other books on the subject, but for brevity, de-mystification and just plain enjoyment this one beats them all--by a country mile.
Coffey is a maverick. He sees himself as a blue -collar CEO/ He left home at 17. After a stint in the Army, he worked as an engineer and then changed to the business side , rising to middle-management with General Electric. Private equity recruiters came calling and he listened. For the last 20 years, Coffey has been President/CEO of three different national private equity backed companies. Each company has grown exponentially under his watch. And, he tells you how.
The author likens the experience to building a winning team. He introduces two players , "Josh" and "Rose" ( a mirror of his former self ). Josh is the CEO of a middle-market service company. He has built the company into a recognized leader in it's field, and is thinking about selling out. He knows little about private equity and wonders if this is a viable exit strategy.--Rose is a " Fortune 500" middle-market executive who gets calls from private equity recruiters looking for a CEO/COO in a private equity backed middle-market company. She is doing well now, but wonders whether she should make a career change
The heart of the book is Coffey's recounting of his own journey in the problems that he faced and decisions that he made. Among the many points that the book covers: private equities growth from 312 firms in 1990 to over 5300 firms today with over $3 trillion in assets under management--over 50% of middle-management companies to have a private equity partner in the next few years-- various type of funds today--the "playing field", the players and how they fit into the decision making for Josh and Rose--the rules of the game and the specific questions that Josh and Rose must ask themselves as well as the private equity firms--why an investment banker is needed--why the acronyms IRR,MOIC and DPI are so important as measurement guidelines--how partnering with a private equity firm is an accounting game changer--how EBIDTA can be fluffed up to accelerate growth--growth strategies through organic growth , price, product or service, rebranding and blue ocean search--equity creation for management through the ABC waterfall--why IRR is mandatory in the game--buy and build strategy with mergers and acquisitions--how to beat a recession-- how outside consultants could actually be worth the cost--why a private equity partner can create generational wealth for both Josh and Rose for years to come, " The gift that keeps on giving".
Everything in the book is tied to Coffey's personal experiences in putting together a winning team. This is a fascinating read, down-to-earth and hands-on. Highly recommended