The nature of private equity investment has changed dramatically in the past few years. Nowadays, rather than simply injecting cash and advice, private equity investors are taking a more active role in helping the companies they invest in to grow and find synergies with other businesses in their portfolio.

Until five years ago the best possible acquirers for SA enterprises were trade acquirers — large corporations, typically listed, aimed to increase sales and take advantage of scale as they acquired smaller companies and “bolted them on to” existing operations...

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