Private Equity Search Guide

Understanding the private equity search interface and results

Updated this week

The Private Equity Search interface is the most commonly used search database on Mergr. You can filter investors by a wide range investor or investment criteria and build lists quickly.

Where to Access

To access the Private Equity Search interface from the Mergr Dashboard, select 'Private Equity Search' on the Mergr Dashboard, or 'Private Equity Firms' in the right-hand Menu tray.

Private Equity Search

The Investor/Private Equity Search interface is comprised of over 20 different search options and is organized into four sections. 

Tips:

  • Select 'More Options' to view all search parameters.

  • While search criteria can be combined, if the results appear limited, try reducing the search parameters selected.

  1. Investor Criteria (blue section below) - Search PE Firms/Investors based on top-level firm characteristics (such as size or location).

  2. Firm Investment Criteria (black section below) - Search PE Firms based on a Firm's stated investment preferences.

  3. Firm Investment Activity (green section below) - Search PE Firms based on actual M&A investment activity.

  4. Firm Portfolios (brown section below) - Search PE Firms based on portfolio holdings.


Investor Criteria

The 'Investor Criteria' section is designed to help users search investors using non-investment-related criteria - such as investor size, investor category, and location.

1. Keyword

The 'Keyword' field searches investor descriptions and names. If you wish to look-up a specific firm, you can enter its name here. Eg. 'Vista Equity'.

2. Investor Type

We categorize all investors based on primary investor type.

Choices include,

  • Private Equity Firm

  • Mezzanine Finance Firm

  • Infrastructure

  • Search Fund

  • Family Office

  • Asset Manager

  • Sovereign Wealth Fund

  • Merchant Bank

  • Corporate Investor

  • Business Development Company

  • Growth Capital Firm

  • Distressed Investor

  • Secondary Investor

  • Other

Most investors in the Mergr database fall into the 'Private Equity Firm' category, however there are a variety of other investor types and you can select different options with this criteria.

3. Firm Size

Firm size is based on a combination of funds under management and the general size of targeted companies.

  • Small - Unsponsored or has up to $250M USD under management.

  • Middle-Market - Between $250M and $1B USD under management.

  • Large - Between $1B and $5B USD under management.

  • Mega - Greater than $5B USD of capital under management.

4. Generalist/Specialist

If an investor specifically mentions that they are only interested in a particular industry (or industries), we separate these investors out as 'Specialist'.

  • Generalist - Investors that are sector agnostic (or list a wide range of sectors of interest).

  • Specialist - Investors that are sector focused.

Examples of Specialist private equity firms include Francisco Partners (technology and software), VMG Partners (consumer goods), and Greenbriar Equity Group (transportation).

5. Funded/Unfunded

  • Funded - PE Firms that have a dedicated PE fund or investment vehicle.

  • Unfunded - PE Firms that are unsponsored or do not list having an investment fund.

6. HQ Region

The HQ Region dropdown is a quick way of filtering firms based on an expanded geographic area. 

For example, select Scandinavia to deliver all private equity firms based in Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Sweden. Given the majority of investors reside in the US, we separate the US into 4 regions - East US, West US, Midwest US, and South US.

7. City / State / Country

The City/State/Country location fields allow you to search firms based on their primary office location.

Search Tip: You can search for multiple cities by inserting 'OR' between cities. For example, entering 'Miami OR Tampa Bay OR Jacksonville' will apply your search to these 3 cities.

8. Main Office

By default, searching firms by location only references an investor's primary location. However, as we also collect secondary office locations, you can alter your geographic searches to include or only reference secondary office locations.

Investment Criteria

The 'Investment Criteria' section is designed to help users search investors based on their stated investment preferences, targeted deal values, and company size criteria.

1. Industry Interest

The Industry Interest dropdown lets you filter PE Firms based on the sectors that Firms will consider investing in. There are 60 sectors to choose from. If you select more than one sector, for example Software and Information Technology, your result set will deliver Firms with interest in either sector.

2. Geographic Preference

The Geographic Preference dropdown lets you filter PE Firms based on the geographic regions that a Firm has stated it will consider investing in.

3. Acquisition Type

The Acquisition Type dropdown is a listing of deal types. Example deal types include Buyouts, Recapitalizations, and Divestitures. You can filter PE Firms based on stated deal types of interest using this dropdown.

4. 5. Target Company Revenue, EBITDA

If you would like to filter PE Firms based on the stated revenue or EBITDA ranges that interest an investor - enter the appropriate figures here. 

For example, entering '10' for Revenue will yield all Firms where 10M USD falls within a Firm's Min/Max Revenue range.

6. 7. Target Transaction Investment Size, Enterprise Value

If you would like to filter PE Firms based on transaction-related figures - enter the appropriate figures here. Investment Size refers to the equity/subordinated debt figures and Enterprise Value refers to the value of the entire transaction.

For example, entering '10' for Investment Size will yield all Firms where 10M USD falls within a Firm's Min/Max range for its equity investment size.

Investment Activity

The 'Investment Activity' section is designed to help users search investors based on their actual M&A activity and deal types.

1. M&A Activity Past 'X' months

If you'd like to isolate PE Firms that have bought and/or exited within a recent period of time (6, 12, 24, or 36 months), you can do so with this filter. In addition to searching based on recent buy/sell activity, you can apply a certain number of transactions as well.

2. Has Co-Invested

If you'd like to isolate PE Firms that have invested alongside other PE Firms (or Companies) on at least 1 transaction - select 'Yes' under 'Has Co-Invested'.

3. Deal Value

If you'd like to isolate PE Firms that have completed transactions within a certain size range - select from the Deal Value dropdown. For example, selecting 'USD 1B to USD 10B' will yield all PE Firms that have acquired at least 1 company within this value range.

4. Transaction Type

If you'd like to isolate PE Firms that have completed specific types of transactions - select from this dropdown. For example, selecting 'Divestiture' will return all PE Firms that have completed a non-core divestiture from a Company.

Portfolios

The 'Portfolios' section is designed to help users search investors based on their portfolio holdings.

1. Industry

Select from the Industry dropdown if you'd like to isolate PE Firms that have invested in certain sectors.

2. Keyword

The Keyword field searches the descriptions of all past and current portfolio companies. 

For example, entering 'vending' will deliver all private equity firms with a portfolio company that has 'vending' within company descriptions. This field can be particularly helpful in identifying investors that have invested in very specific types of companies.

3. City / State / Country

Isolate PE investors based on geography by selecting or using the City, State/Province, and Country fields. For example, selecting 'Canada' will yield all PE Firms that have made at least one investment in Canada.

Search Tip: You can search for multiple cities by inserting 'OR' between cities. For example, entering 'London OR Manchester OR Leeds' will apply your search to these 3 cities.

4. Apply to Current Investments Only

If you're interested in searching PE Firms based on their Current investments only - select Apply to Current Investments Only.

Private Equity Results

Viewing

The Investors Search Results table is designed to quickly show you basic investor attributes, such as location, investor type, PE Assets (in USD if available), as well as portfolio count and recent M&A totals.

Sorting

There are a variety of ways to sort investor results. By default, investor results are sorted based on recent investment activity - 'Most Recent Investment' date first.

Additional sort options include,

  • Investor Name - A to Z

  • Investor Name - Z to A

  • Current Portfolio Count - High to Low

  • Total PE Assets - High to Low

  • Number of Investments (Year to Date) - High to Low

  • Number of Investments Made (Last 5 Years) - High to Low

  • Number of Exits (Year to Date) - High to Low

  • Number of Exits (Last 5 Years) - High to Low

  • Exit Date - Most Recent First

Saving

For faster recall later - you can save your investor searches.

Step 1: Select the 'Save Search' button at the top of the search results table.

Step 2: Enter a name for your search and select 'Save Search'.

Step 3: Saved searches appear on your Dashboard under 'Saved Searches'.

Downloading

You can download your search results by selecting 'Download' at the top of the search results table.

Selecting Download will export the first 250 results of your search via a CSV file. If your search contains more than 250 results, results beyond the first 250 records will not be included. Investor fields available for export can be viewed and modified as needed by selecting the down arrow next to Download.

Click here to view a list of available fields when exporting investors.

Note: The Download function is disabled during the free trial period and is automatically enabled after the free trial period ends. If you select 'Download' during your trial, you will be prompted to end your trial and upgrade to a paid membership.

Secondary Search Results

The investor search results section contains a series of tabs in addition to the primary tab listing investor results.

The additional tabs include,

  • Team Members

  • Portfolio Companies

  • Investor M&A

  • Advisors

These tabs are dynamic and connected to the investor results in the primary tab.

Team Members

After building a list of investors, if you wish to view the aggregate collection of professionals who work at the list of Investors, select the 'Team Members' secondary tab.

Portfolio Companies

After building a list of investors, if you wish to view the aggregate collection of current portfolio companies of the list of Investors, select the 'Portfolio Companies' secondary tab.

Investor M&A

After building a list of investors, if you wish to view the recent investment activity of the list of Investors, select the 'Investor M&A' secondary tab.

Advisors

After building a list of investors, if you wish to view the aggregate collection of M&A Advisors (legal and financial) who have advised on transactions for the list of Investors, select the Advisors secondary tab.

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