PE / Buyside Modelling

Hi all

Sorry if this is a dumb question - just wondering what type of modelling is usually done / takes the most time in the buyside / PE? Reason I'm asking is that in the sellside, we spend a lot of time with mgmt on working on the operational model / assumptions and really fleshing out the model to granular line items (more complex than needed..)

When we give it to buyers in Phase I or upload in the VDR - how much / what type of modelling do the buyers spend the most time from the model we give? 

I understand they may probably overlay it with some of their assumptions / inputs and make an IRR / LBO / valuation tab. However on the actual modelling front - would most time be spent on just DDing the various line items and assumptions / understanding how the model works? As imo the bulk of the work of making the 3 statement operational model and revenue / cost builds were already done by the sell side, and I dont think overlaying an LBO tab would take as much time as making the operational model from scratch 

Sorry if a dumb question lol.. thanks

Comments (7)

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  • Intern in PE - LBOs

Intern opinion - experienced people can correct me if I'm wrong.

Models with such extreme granularity and 30+ tabs for no reason are usually hated.

Our job is to strip out the BS and see where you made mistakes (e.g. not linked correctly, real driver of sub-segment not identified correctly and has to be function of something else and so on)

For round 1 bid, build own operating model (possibly with the help of buy-side adviser) and input that into the company template LBO. This has low level of granularity and just aims to show the possibility. Very high level model of revenue and cost drivers.
Buy-side adviser might be tasked on adding flexibility in assumptions, figuring out whether lines can be consolidated (to remove your unnecessary complex detail)

For round 2 bid, team builds out more detailed model with or without the help of buy-side adviser. key drivers of everything material, split of head office costs vs division costs and so on.

time-wise hard to say. Usually takes a few hours of work a day over time as discussions progress. It's not the norm for an Associate to sit down and spend 2 days just to build a model.

in any case, the team builds its own model and runs scenarios like Management Case, Management Case with a haircut, Investment Organic Case, Investment case with M&A

edit: more specifically to answer your question - the part you call "IRR / LBO / Valuation" tab is the company template I refer to. Every company has its own LBO template and the operating model goes into that. Buy-side 1) understand how the model works and what the drivers are and whether your model is right, 2) thinks how to simplify, 3) runs few cases as I mentioned (sense check management assumptions, usually management case is bull case).

  • 4
  • Intern in PE - LBOs

>2bn latest vintage

  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs

Really depends on fund size, type of deal and fund. 

Sometimes I'll use the sell-side model as the basis to and just overlay the LBO / financing assumptions and add the cases to sensitise, but use the drivers of the sell-side model. 

Sometimes I'll build in a different way because I want to flex different assumptions (e.g., maybe certain things in sell-side model are too granular or not granular enough). Might get buyside to help with this. 

ilikeRX, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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