Private Equity Capital Briefing

Monthly insights and intelligence on private equity and capital market trends

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April highlights

PE fundraising

  • PE fundraising remains strong, with firms closing 153 funds valued at US$132b in the first quarter of the year, representing an increase of 6% from the first quarter of 2016.
  • Firms are raising capital faster in 2017 than at any period on record. Buyout funds that closed in the first three months of 2017 spent an average of just eight months between launch and final close.
  • Funds are also significantly oversubscribed — the average buyout fund closed this year has closed with 120% of its target commitments.

PE acquisitions

  • PE acquisition activity saw a strong Q1, with firms announcing 316 deals valued at US$69.8b, up 58% from last year.
  • Activity was driven by upticks in Europe (up 200% by value) and the US (up 55% by value).
  • Large deals continue to drive PE. There have been 23 megadeals in the first quarter of 2017 (deals valued at US$1b or more), accounting for 71% of total PE investment, the highest proportion since 2007.

PE exits

  • PE exits increased in the first quarter. Firms announced 229 exits valued at US$75.9b, up 15% by value and 9% by volume versus last year.
  • An improved market for new issuance was the primary driver of the uptick. Twenty-seven PE-backed companies went public during Q1, raising US$8.6b, more than four times what PE-backed companies raised during the first quarter of 2016.
  • Secondary buyouts drove an increasing percentage of M&A exits in Q1, accounting for 29% of deals.

Infrastructure

  • Fundraising for infrastructure funds remains strong, up 84% by value versus the same period a year ago. At current run rates, the industry is well on its way to its most active year on record for fundraising.
  • Dry powder has reached record levels. Firms currently have more than US$147b in capital available for new deals, up 35% from the beginning of 2016.
  • While fundraising was up, deal volume was subdued in the first quarter, down 28% by value versus Q1 2016.

Private Credit

  • Fundraising activity has opened 2017 with significant strength, with funds raising US$21.1b in the first quarter, up 63% from the same period last year.
  • Activity was driven by particular strength in the direct lending space. Direct lending funds valued at US$13.0b have closed so far this year, up more than 200% from last year. Of funds closed this year, direct lending funds have accounted for more than 60% of total assets.
  • Credit funds now have more than US$200b in dry powder for investment.
Private Equity Capital Briefing - April 2017

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About the Private Equity Capital Briefing 

The Capital Briefing helps you keep current on private equity trends and data, including fundraising, acquisitions and exits. It also provides perspectives on the global M&A market, cross-border deal flows, initial public offerings (IPOs), debt and bond markets.