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In finance, private equity is an asset class consisting of equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange. A private equity investment will generally be made by a private equity firm, a venture capital firm or an angel investor. Each of these categories of investor has its own set of goals, preferences and investment strategies; however, all provide working capital to a target company to nurture expansion, new product development, or restructuring of the company’s operations, management, or ownership. Bloomberg Businessweek has called private equity a rebranding of leveraged buyout firms after the 1980s. Among the most common investment strategies in private equity are: leveraged buyouts, venture capital, growth capital, distressed investments and mezzanine capital. In a typical leveraged buyout transaction, a private equity firm buys majority control of an existing or mature firm. This is distinct from a venture capital or growth capital investment, in which the investors invest in young or emerging companies, and rarely obtain majority control. Private equity is also often grouped into a broader category called private capital, generally used to describe capital supporting any long-term, illiquid investment strategy. (via Freebase)