Operational Excellence winners set the private equity standard

Sun Capital Partners, Mekong Capital and OpCapita are among the winners in this year’s Private Equity International Operational Excellence Awards.

We’ve recently used this space to remind readers of the need to proactively share their operational success stories. So it’s with great pleasure we can reveal 12 such cases by way of our fourth annual Operational Excellence Awards.

Our GP winners and the portfolio companies they helped to transform come in all sizes, and from all sectors and corners of the globe – from a US healthy snack food maker to a Vietnamese restaurant chain. Other winners include a Swiss information technology firm, a Korean toy manufacturer, a Hong Kong telecoms business and a Japanese generic drug producer.

While they are completely diverse in their respective business models, they share one thing in common: private equity helped transform their company.

The GPs’ respective operating partners were able to go into them, identify the areas where change was needed, and then work alongside the management and staff to help achieve it. Equally important, on exiting the company they were able to demonstrate how they had “future-proofed” it, making it better able to deal with the vagaries of a rapidly changing world.

That happens in different ways, of course, with diverse operating partners applying various tools. There are finance specialists, who for example might free up equity to realign and incentivise management or to pay down debt. There are the inspirational people managers, who have to have the ability to cajole and convince existing management and employees to change often entrenched business habits. And then there are the technical experts, who have the nous and wherewithal to transform and upgrade companies by implementing winning technology. Of course, there are many other types who fall under the operating partner umbrella, but all of them aim to roll up their sleeves, and one by one, remove the obstacles that have previously impeded a company’s growth.

We hope you will take the time to read each of the 12 winning submissions. They provide fascinating insight into the sheer diversity of hats that an operating partner has to wear and just how transformational private equity can be.

PS: Join us at Private Equity International’s fifth annual Operating Partners Forum, taking place on 13 -14 October in New York. All the details can be found here.