Milestone Capital (Private Equity – Search Fund) Proposal for Spring Internship
Role: PE Analyst – Intern
Project Contact: Georgyi Vekhov available at firstname.lastname@example.org and at
Background/current situation for a prospective student. LBO market in Russia is nascent and there are almost no professional Private Equity funds that operate on the mid-market ($2-10M of EBITDA). At the same time, the generational shift is happening and many business owners would like to retire. Often times, they don’t have willing kids to pass their business onto and they operate in an industry where there are no strategic players doing acquisitions/roll-ups. Therefore, many business owners in Russia find it hard to sell their business. And so, we launched Milestone Capital search fund in January 2021: we seek a mid-market business to acquire in Russia. We are the first and only real search fund in Russia.
To date, there have been roughly 600 search funds launched worldwide, with ~420 in the US & Canada, ~90 in Europe, ~80 in Latin America and ~10 in rest of the world. Search fund is a special type of private equity (PE) fund / entrepreneurial vehicle where an entrepreneur raises capital from ~10-20 investors (HNWI & funds of funds, often referred to as Limited Partners or LPs) in order to search for and acquire a business. We have 17 LPs from US, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Israel and Russia. Our LPs are entrepreneurs, top managers, university professors and professional PE/VC investors (all can be googled).
Search funds over the past 35 years delivered IRR of ~35% and ROI of 5-10x, which is the highest in the alternative investments sector. Part of the reason of their excellent performance is due to them having very strict criteria for the business they look to acquire. The business that a search fund is to acquire must:
1) Have very stable source of revenue (aka recurring revenue). This is the most important criteria. Here you can read about it.
2) Be in a growing industry (at least 5%+). 3) Have high EBITDA margins (15%+). 4) Have low customer concentration.
It is also desirable for a business to have low CAPEX, economies of scale and some entry barriers (economic moats).
Over the course of our engagement you will:
1) Identifysuitableindustriesforanoutreachanddotop-downanalysisofindustryverticals; 2) Searchforspecifictargetstoreachoutto;
5) PerformweeklyreviewofCIMs/teasers,financialinformationandevaluatespecific,real companies;
6) Ifdesired,participateinmeetingswithbusinessowners; 7) LookoutforM&Abusinessbrokers/investmentbanks.
Goal: Build outreach pipeline with high-quality potential businesses to acquire. If we’re lucky, we might go under LOI & through due diligence within the time of our engagement.
- Intro and training. First & second weeks of our engagement would be mostly dedicated totraining.
- Work cadence. Daily 15-minute stand-ups, Monday weekly goal-setting meetings, FridayCIM (confidential information memo) reviews, some informal get-togethers (aka pizzaparty).
- Mentorship & training. Regular meetings to share feedback and help you to grow.
How to prepare for the interview:
Please, screen through some or all of the below-mentioned materials. This would help you understand a bit better what a search fund is and what would be expected of you.
1) StanfordGSB.2020SearchFundStudy:SelectedObservations. https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/faculty-research/case-studies/2020-search-fund-study- selected-observations
2) IESEBusinessSchool.InternationalSearchFunds–2020.Selectedobservations. https://media.iese.edu/research/pdfs/ST-0603- E.pdf?_ga=2.79102932.1920790741.1610981816-730221182.1610981816
4) Goodblogpost.TheMostExcitingAssetClassinPrivateEquity?SearchFundsfromthe Investor’s Perspective https://www.toptal.com/finance/private-equity-consultants/search-fund-investor