It's not always easy walking out of retail stores with what you came in with. For many of us, retail exits can be tricky. (Depending, of course, on how light our pockets are, in which case exits might be easy). Private equity investors always hope for easy exits, and they also hope to walk away from their investments with more than they had coming in. Those kinds of exits aren't painful at all.
Since the beginning of 2004, PE investors have exited 100 U.S.- or Canada-based companies in the retail industry, according to the PitchBook Platform. Last year saw the highest exit activity in the time frame with 20 exits, easily eclipsing the second-highest mark of 14 in 2006. In fact, aside from 2012, exit activity for the industry has been pretty consistent, save for a one-year hiccup in 2008. 42% of all exits in the time frame came via secondary buyouts, with another 35% through corporate acquisitions. The remaining 23% came through IPOs, the same path that fashion retailer Neiman Marcus has filed to pursue.
The list includes plenty of other companies offering apparel, including J. Crew, Barneys New York, Express and rue21. The list also includes a handful of $1 billion+ deals like the $2.69 billion buyout of Party City last year.