Private Equity

Our firm has long been a leading adviser in private equity, with a reputation not only for sound, quality advice but also for our pragmatic and decisive approach to address the intricate issues facing our clients. We advise many of the most active independent private equity firms, as well as the private equity groups within major financial institutions.

Our experience covers the entire private equity spectrum, including fund formation and marketing, structuring and making equity investments, negotiating bridge, high-yield and senior debt financing for portfolio companies, structuring management compensation programs, making follow-on investments, executing recapitalization transactions, disposing of investments through private or public sales, making in-kind distributions and negotiating workouts. This vast experience gives us a deep understanding of evolving trends within the marketplace.

Few firms offer the combination of:

  • Our technical capabilities in private equity
  • The breadth of understanding we have across all industries of the corporate world
  • The comprehensive manner in which our services are delivered
  • The service offerings that support our clients’ legal, regulatory and risk infrastructures

All these services are centered around our mission to build and sustain long-term relationships because of the:

  • Value-add quality of work we do
  • Partner-oriented services we offer
  • Value-based approach to our work

Led by people who have been involved in the industry for decades and in some cases led large private equity legal departments, we have organized ourselves and developed systems that are designed to ensure delivery of all these disciplines and industry knowledge in a cohesive and comprehensive way.


  • IFLR Americas Awards – Davis Polk was named “Private Equity Team of the Year.”
  • Chambers USA – Our private equity buyouts group is ranked highly: “[Davis Polk is] adept in handling the full spectrum of private equity transactions, including buyouts. Marquee clients span both independent sponsors and private equity groups within major financial institutions.” 
  • Legal 500 U.S. – “The team at Davis Polk is ‘quick’, ‘smart’, ‘efficient’, ‘professional’ and ‘user-friendly’. The firm has created a vibrant practice by leveraging relationships in the private equity arms and private equity spin-offs from the investment banks.” 

Notable Matters

Goldman Sachs PIA. We advised Goldman Sachs on its:

  • $2.5 billion preferred equity financing for Cabela’s $5.5 billion acquisition by Bass Pro Shops
  • $3 billion acquisition of TransUnion with Advent International
  • Acquisitions of Genesis Capital, Hearthside Food Solutions (with Vestar Capital), Ipreo (with Blackstone) and Safe-Guard Products
  • Minority investments in Enstar, Luvo, Plastipak and Suja Life

Crestview Partners. We advised Crestview Partners on its:

  • $3 billion sale of Insight Communications
  • Acquisition of Voya Insurance and Annuity Company
  • Acquisition of Key Safety Systems and sale to FountainVest Partners
  • $246 million acquisition of Victory Capital Management
  • Investments in Arxis Capital, Select Energy Services and Oxbow Carbon

Metalmark Capital. We advised Metalmark Capital on its:

  • Strategic investments in Camin Cargo Control, Kissner Milling, Mastronardi Produce, Reliance Gathering, Tarpon Energy Services, US Salt, Valagro, Warwick & Kent and WorldStrides
  • Sales of Aegis Toxicology Sciences, Hoffmaster Group, Ni America, Tegrant and WorldStrides

Tailwind Capital. We advised Tailwind Capital on its:

  • Acquisitions of Applications Software Technology, Avita Drugs, Cumming Group, DermaRite Industries, Distinct Holdings, Edenbridge Pharmaceuticals, Lieberman Research Worldwide, Lone Peak, MCW Solutions, MetroGistics and Strativity Group
  • Strategic investments in Colony Hardware, Hamilton State Bancshares and Premier Fixtures

Lightyear Capital. We advised Lightyear Capital on its:

  • $500 million sale of Swett & Crawford to BB&T
  • $472 million sale of RidgeWorth Investments to Virtus
  • Acquisitions of Datalot, HPM Partners and Wealth Enhancement Group
  • Sales of Clarion Partners to Legg Mason and Houston International Insurance Group

Atairos. We advised Atairos on its:

  • Acquisition of a substantial ownership position in Bowlmor AMF
  • Acquisition of Learfield Communications and its merger with IMG College
  • $250 million investment in Groupon
  • $108 million strategic equity investment in Virtusa

Corsair Capital. We advised Corsair Capital on its:

  • $692 million sale of Torus Insurance to Enstar Group
  • $476 million sale of NewStar Financial to First Eagle Investment Management
  • Acquisition of a minority equity stake in East West Bancorp
  • Indirect investment in Financial Guaranty Insurance Corporation