Private equity transactions are set to dip further as a dearth of financing and a protracted price discovery period will dent activity, according to senior executives at Carlyle Group Inc. and Apollo Global Management Inc.
“There will be six, nine months of price recovery,” Jim Zelter, co-president of Apollo, said at a summit in Hong Kong. “It’s going to be a period of a lot lower volume but very interesting transactions.”
Central bank tightening, led by the U.S., has torpedoed financial markets this year, prompting companies to slow expansion plans and halt mergers and acquisitions. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. CEO David Solomon said deal activity could rebound next year as corporate issuers and investors get used to tougher conditions.
William Conway, co-founder of Carlyle, said that right now or over the next year or so will be a “spectacular” time to invest even though deals will slow as sellers balk at hefty discounts.
“The deal transaction volume will fall generally everywhere and particularly in developed markets here for a while,” he said on a panel in Hong Kong.
Alternative asset managers have identified some bright spots, favoring private-equity in Japan and infrastructure investing in U.S. and China.
Apollo’s Zelter said private credit has become a large part of the market now, including dollar-denominated low investment grade credits, which can generate mid to double-digit returns in 12 to 18 months. The best investment “vintages” would be 2023 and 2024, he said.
“We’re unabashedly very busy, unabashedly putting a lot of money to work,” he said. “This is an amazingly interesting time, it’s going to be cloudy storm, it’s going to last.”
Apollo Global managed $515 billion of investments at the end of June in private equity to public and private debt.
Zelter also predicted the US will succeed in the “nasty fight” in taming inflation over the next two to three years.
For real asset investing, China has become “the second most exciting” infrastructure market in the world after U.S. because of a beneficial policies for renewable energy, said said Ben Way, group head of Macquarie Asset Management.
“The scale of opportunities in China, the very positive policies around renewable energy, and the investment around things like hydrogen, is very real in China, unlike in many other markets,” Way said.