Once in a lifetime

Creating the right growth chemistry for Australian private and family businesses

A spotlight on 'private equity' as an option for family and private businesses looking for a path towards growth, and ultimately, a successful exit or succession.


With the right expertise and the right kind of capital, many businesses are capable of getting bigger and more profitable.

There are lots of benefits to be gained from growing your business, but most importantly, the growth of Australia’s private and family businesses is important for the overall health and prosperity of the broader economy. PwC analysis has shown that the private and family business sector contributes more than $600 billion to our national GDP, and employs almost three million Australians. As these companies grow, they provide more jobs, attract inbound investment, support economic growth and a widening tax base, and increase the value of the nation's retirement savings.

In other words, growth matters, not only for the owners but also for the rest of the country.

Owners are facing an important decision: choosing the right kind of capital to help grow their business. The three most common sources of capital are bank or corporate debt, initial public offering (IPO) and private equity.

This publication focuses on an increasingly popular option for growth – private equity. This involves a private equity firm buying a share of a private business and then helping that business to grow, and in doing so, increase the overall value of the business.

Report highlights

The private equity attraction

More and more businesses are coming to see private equity as the smart choice. If you look at the industry’s performance, it’s not hard to see why.

PE-backed businesses in Australia, on average, grow their workforces at a compound annual growth rate of 28% over a five-year period.  And globally, private equity has been the best performing asset class on a five, ten and 20-year basis.1

1 PwC, The rising attractiveness of alternative asset classes for Sovereign Wealth Funds, January 2018 https://preview.thenewsmarket.com/ Previews/PWC/DocumentAssets/498560.pdf

Finding the perfect partnership

Even though private equity offers many advantages over other forms of growth capital, it’s not for everyone. Business owners need to ask themselves some tough questions before deciding whether private equity is right option for them and their business.

In turn, business owners need to decide if they are right for private equity. Private equity firms have definite ideas about the kinds of businesses that they want to invest in. 

If you've considered the above and come to the conclusion that private equity is right for you, the next step is to find the right partner. Ask yourself: is there chemistry around how you will work together as partners?

Insights from the PE industry's peak body

What does the peak body representing private equity and venture capital in Australia say about securing capital for growth? We speak to Yasser El-Ansary, Chief Executive of Australian Private Equity & Venture Capital Association Limited.

Read: A word from the Chief Executive of AVCAL

“Choosing the right private equity firm for the founders is the beginning of a relationship, not a transaction.”

Sanjiv Jeraj, Private Clients Leader, PwC Australia

Infographic: Creating chemistry – how to form the perfect partnership

Finding the right partner for growth can be a challenge. For businesses thinking about starting this 'once in a lifetime' journey – view our full infographic for PwC insights on forming a sound partnership with a private equity investor.

Download the full infographic to view more insights

Creating a catalyst through PE partnership: Geotech Group

Bede Noonan, managing director of Geotech Group, shares his experience with private equity.

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In conversation with Acciona Geotech

Creating a catalyst through PE partnership

Browse additional case studies

Striking a match: Patties Foods
Striking a match: Patties Foods

Why did this publicly listed company turn to private equity?

Read the full Patties Foods story

Contact us

Martina Crowley

PwC | Private | Partner, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 1450

Jason Habak

PwC | Private | National Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 2960

Glen Hadlow

Deals Business Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 7670

Samantha Vidler

PwC | Private | Partner, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 402 487 522

James Blackburn

PwC | Private | Partner - Outsourced CFO, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 8 8218 7100

Troy Porter

Partner, Private Capital Industry Leader, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 2 8266 7516

Paul Lewis

PwC | Private | Partner - Assurance, PwC Australia

Tel: +61 3 8603 3678

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