* Says pricing will be more competitive for good assets
* CPPIB among the world's top private equity players
(Adds details from fourth paragraph)
By Pav Jordan
VANCOUVER, May 25 Canada Pension Plan
Investment Board, one of the world's most active private equity
dealmakers in recent years, expects to slow down over the next
12 months as competition for assets rises.
Andre Boubonnais, CPPIB senior vice-president in charge of
private investments, said rising liquidity has accelerated the
race for acquisitions and driven up prices.
"We see very (few) opportunities that are attractive from a
pricing point of view and when there are, there's a lot of
competition and we're not particularly good buyers in
auctions," Boubonnais told Reuters ahead of the annual Canadian
Venture Capital and Private Equity Association conference in
CPPIB, which manages Canada's national pension fund, has
taken a role in some of the largest leveraged buyouts of the
past two years.
In 2009 it had a hand in three of the top five global
private equity deals, including the largest leveraged buyout of
the year: the $4 billion acquisition of IMS Health Inc RX.N,
a prescription drug sales data provider. CPPIB bought IMS with
TPG [TPG.UL], a U.S. private equity firm.
In 2010, CPPIB and Onex Corp (OCX.TO), a Canadian
investment fund, went in together on the C$5 billion leveraged
buyout of Tomkins Plc TOMK.L, a British maker of car parts,
industrial hoses and bath tubs. It was the largest global
private equity deal of that year.
"If you ask me if our fiscal 2012, which will end in March
2012, will be as busy as the previous two years, my instinct
right now would say probably not," Boubonnais said.
CPPIB was a big winner earlier this month when it and
business partners Silver Lake and eBay Inc (EBAY.O) sold
Internet phone service Skype to Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) for
"It played out really, really well," Boubonnais said. "We
had a number of opportunities for exit."
Truth be told, Boubonnais said he prefers the market for
exits than for buying opportunities.
Private equity players have lots of available cash to
deploy, and can resort to open debt markets for leverage, while
corporate players are sitting on cash saved during the global
"It's sort of a perfect storm," Boubonnais said. "They need
to do something with the money, so they are in the market, and
you've also got a fairly robust IPO market for the right
companies that also provides exit opportunities."
(Editing by Frank McGurty)