When private equity acquires any asset, an invisible clock appears above that company with a countdown. At some point, the private equity firm is going to need to sell that company and thus return money to its investors.
Unlike a holding company like IAC, which can hold an asset indefinitely, a private equity fund has a lifespan. Typically, these funds operate for 7-10 years—though they can obviously go longer if things are not going great. And so, if it’s a seven year fund and the fund buys an asset in year three, the hope would be to sell that asset over the next four years.