[Excerpt] The past few years have brought record-setting merger and acquisition activity in just about every industry across the board. Private equity firms, known for their pioneering efforts in creating exceptional returns, have been the most active investors in this frenzy. Due to increased competition with hedge funds and institutional investors, private equity shops have been pushed to search high and low in order to meet investor expectations. So while creativity with respect to deal structuring and sourcing has become essential for survival in the private equity business, there has also been a natural progression towards more complicated and risky transactions. The retail sector, an industry segment originally seen as risky territory, has increasingly come under the spotlight during this phenomenon. Ripe with a number of struggling public companies—most of which have significant real estate holdings—it is no surprise that private equity has shown a greater interest in this sector.
Kennedy, R., & Baker, R. (2007). Private equity goes retail. Cornell Real Estate Review, 5, 92-97. This paper was selected as the winner of the 2006 ING Clarion Most Outstanding Article Award.