And the winner is …

CVC, Hellman & Friedman, Welsh Carson, Advent and Actis are among the industry veterans to have won awards in the highly regarded Private Equity International Awards 2008.

Final votes have been cast and counted in the Private Equity International 2008 awards. This marks the eighth straight year PEO and Private Equity International readers have voted in our highly regarded global poll, which is determined entirely by the industry’s participants, not our publications’ editors.

In the LBO and mid-market firms of the year categories, 2008’s winners were not repeats of 2007, perhaps reflecting readers’ moods regarding the evolution of private equity amid the global financial crisis.

CVC Capital Partners displaced Apax Partners as 2008 European LBO firm of the year, while in North America, Hellman & Friedman dislodged Clayton Dubilier and Rice. In Asia, Affinity Equity Partners took the honours from 2007 winner CCMP Capital Asia.

Click here for the
full list of winners

The hotly contested mid-market races saw Advent International take over from 2007’s European winner, 3i. In North America, Welsh Carson Anderson & Stowe was given readers’ seal of approval, taking the honours from New Mountain Capital. And in Asia, HSBC Private Equity Asia was voted mid-market firm of the year, while the 2007 winner, Affinity Equity, was instead given top LBO firm honours.

Some returning winners in other categories include MVision as best European placement agent, Actis as best Africa-focused private equity firm, Abraaj Capital as best Middle Eastern buyout firm, HarbourVest Partners as best fund of funds in North America, and Lexington Partners as best secondaries shop in North America.

The fresh deals and favourable exits that readers applauded were record-setting in many respects. For example, the best European deal of 2008, BC Partners’ knock-out bid for Turkish supermarket chain Migros, was, at around $3.25 billion in February 2008, the largest private equity deal in Europe since credit markets had seized in August 2007, and was the largest ever deal in Turkey.

The North American exit of 2008, the $28 billion sale of telecom company Alltel to Verizon by Goldman Sachs and TPG, was the largest private equity exit on record. The firms were slated to turn a $1.3 billion profit on the deal, having owned Alltel for little over a year.

Click here for the full list of winners across all regions.

Award winners and their guests will be invited to join us at the second annual Private Equity International Awards Global Winners' Celebration, which will take place on 4 June at London’s magnificent Victoria and Albert Museum.