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Private equity fundraising reaches five-year high in 2013

The private equity industry has raised the largest amount of capital from investors in any year since the start of the financial crisis in 2008, according to data from PEI.

Some 580 funds have collected a total of USD356bn in 2013, with just over USD80bn being raised by 119 funds in the final quarter.
The previous highest annual total for funds raised since 2008 was in 2012, when just over USD300bn was collected.
UK funds in particular have had a successful 2013. Fifty two funds collected an aggregate USD58.6bn, trumping the most recent high of USD55.7bn raised in 2008.
However, the increased capital raised comes from fewer closed funds, demonstrating the continued bifurcation of the private equity industry between the haves and the have-nots.
PEI expects 2013 fundraising totals to increase by around 15 per cent as more information becomes available.
The biggest fundraise across the year was by CVC Capital Partners, collecting USD14.2bn for its European Equity Partners VI fund. The fund will seek investment opportunities across Europe.
Funds looking for buyout opportunities remain most popular, collecting USD168.9bn. However, those seeking debt and mezzanine investment raised USD64.6bn – by far the highest amount for the strategy since 2008.
Successful fundraising was largely driven by North American focused funds – USD119bn was collected by firms looking for investment opportunities in the region.
Capital raised by funds targeting Asia-Pacific has declined since 2011, when just under USD62bn was raised. In 2013, funds targeting the region collected USD27.7bn.
Dan Gunner, director of research and analytics, PEI, says: “2013 has been characterised by the continued returning confidence in private equity as an asset class. That said, the much-told story of a split between those that raise big funds quickly and those that struggle remains true. Where the likes of CVC, Carlyle and Apax have had real success, others are finding things much harder.
“It’s also been interesting to see a strong shift towards debt and mezzanine opportunities as funds continue to diversify in their investment approach.”

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