IFF Training

The Mechanics of Private Equity (Online)

Available dates

Dec 4, 2019—Apr 30, 2020
Modules info
GBP 2830 ≈USD 3636


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About the course

There’s no denying that private equity is a critically important asset class that investors cannot afford to exclude from their portfolios. Private equity continues to attract new capital due to its ability to generate returns, despite high competition for quality investments. It has also become significantly more complex in recent years, with a focus on generating returns from better operation rather than financial management and increased regulatory requirements as the major drivers. This pace of change in turn means there is a lot to learn very quickly.

Many who work in private equity receive little or no formal training. They learn primarily on-the-job, which means that sometimes the whole picture is incomplete, often missing some essential elements. After completing this online programme, you will understand not only the whole picture but all the individual parts, their relevance and importance. Moreover, you have the unique opportunity to receive a formal postgraduate certificate from Middlesex University.


  • Be confident in the core principles of private equity and how they have developed today from both for-profit and not-for profit perspectives
  • Have grasped the finance lifecycle in influencing the nature and substance of private equity activity
  • Know how to evaluate and value the different types of synergies and/or control benefits arising from a proposed investment or acquisition and demonstrate them quantitatively within a basic spreadsheet model
  • Be able to apply best practice principles to manage an investment or acquired business to create value for a potentially successful exit
  • Be confident in the complexities of the structuring (and restructuring) of private equity investments, and the range of financial instruments that can be used to fund them
  • Have grasped the importance of thorough risk analysis, comprehensive due diligence, and gained the crucial implementation skills in achieving a successful exit


Unit 1 - Fundamentals of Private Equity and Venture Capital

Following Unit 1, you will be able to:

  • Explain the meaning of the term ‘private equity’ and its relationship to ‘venture capital’
  • Set out the pros and cons of being private
  • Explain why and when private equity is attractive as an asset class
  • Explain and contrast different private equity investment strategies
  • Describe the private equity industry and sources of funds
  • Explain how private equity and venture capital funds are structured, and the roles and responsibilities of participants
  • Understand the significance of the life cycle of private equity funds, the costs of investing and prospective returns

Unit 2 - Investment Process, Due Diligence and Risk Mitigation

Following Unit 2, you will be able to:

  • Explain the investment process in terms of origination, screening and selection
  • Explain the importance of understanding and identifying the different types of risk to which a private equity investment may be exposed
  • Describe how the different types of risk may be mitigated
  • Explain the importance of due diligence and the key areas upon which it should be focused

Unit 3 - Valuation and Pricing

Following Unit 3, you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between value and price and why each is important to understand
  • Provide a review of the different valuation approaches
  • Explain the difference between the public and private equity approaches to valuation
  • Explain how private equity firms create value
  • Demonstrate important valuation perspectives – absolute versus `relative value
  • Review the relevant guidelines on private equity valuation

Unit 4 - Leverage and Buyouts

Following Unit 4, you will be able to:

  • Explain the potential importance of leverage in private equity, and leverage as a strategy
  • Review traditional and contemporary approaches to evaluate leverage
  • Explain how estimate the potential debt capacity of a company
  • Explain the importance and use of buy-out structures in private equity
  • Demonstrate the structuring, evaluation of, and financing of a potential buy-out structure
  • Review key practical issues in structuring a buy-out

Unit 5 - Venture Capital

Following Unit 5, you will be able to:

  • Explain the difference between venture capital and private equity
  • Explain the rationale for venture capital
  • Discuss different venture capital strategies
  • Provide insights as to how the world of venture capital is evolving
  • Explain the importance of understanding the business life cycle and the challenges it imposes in valuing venture capital opportunities
  • Describe the different approaches that can be used valuing venture capital opportunities, in particular start-ups, and explain the challenges in their application

Unit 6 - Structuring and Restructuring Private Equity Investments

Following Unit 6, you will be able to:

  • Explain the significance of structuring to try to achieve an optimal return
  • Review and explain the different financial structuring options – different types of equity, debt and how they are related to, but differ from, mezzanine finance
  • Explain the different types of mezzanine finance and how they can be tailored to meet specific needs
  • Explain Payment In Kind (PIK) debt and its significance in private equity
  • Describe the use of mezzanine finance as a development tool
  • Explain the difference between the public and private equity approaches to valuation
  • Explain why not only structuring, but also restructuring may be required and its potential as an opportunity for private equity investors
  • Review the causes of company distress and their relevance to restructuring
  • Explain financial restructuring, the tools that may be applied and the relevance and potential impact on debt and equity holders, and management

Unit 7 - Deal, Approval Process, Execution and Documentation

Following Unit 7, you will be able to:

  • Explain the deal, approval and execution process
  • Review key elements of the deal, approval and execution process including non-binding indications of interest, term sheets and the role of the Investment Committee (IC)
  • Review the key documents used in a transaction and their functions
  • Explain key issues that need to be considered within the execution and documentation, like representations and warranties, covenants, conditions precedent, and closing conditions

Unit 8 - Managing and Realising Private Equity Investments

Following Unit 8, you will be able to:

  • Explain the challenges in managing private equity investments
  • Review mechanisms of control, including board representation, allocation of voting rights, and control of access to additional financing
  • Review best practices in managing private equity investments, and the potential of planning for problems
  • Explain exit planning and provide an overview of methods and issues, including sales, Initial Public Offerings (IPOs), recapitalisations and new developments.
  • Explain the rationale, plus advantages and disadvantages of the alternative exit methods

Trust the experts

Roger Mills

Roger Mills is an Emeritus Professor at the University of Reading. For more than 20 years, he was Professor of Finance and Accounting at Henley Management College, now Henley Business School and, subsequently, a Professor Dr in the VU University, Amsterdam. Roger has a unique blend of academic ...


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The Mechanics of Private Equity Introduction Video

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