Private Equity International’s fundraising numbers show that $365.3 billion was raised for private equity funds in 2013 – the highest total since 2008 and a 21 percent increase on 2012.
However, while fund managers are raising more capital from investors, fewer funds are closing, demonstrating the continued bifurcation of the private equity industry between the haves and the have nots. 2013’s total was made up from only 597 funds – 18 fewer than last year.
Almost a quarter of total fundraising came from the top ten funds that closed in 2013 – showing the clear dominance of the most established fund managers. The largest fund to close was CVC European Equity Partners VI, which collected $14.15 billion. The European focused mid-market fund held a final close which was $2 billion ahead of its target. The Carlyle Group raised the second largest fund of the year when it held a final close for its sixth fund in November. Carlyle secured $3 billion more than its initial target of $10 billion.
Buyout funds were the most popular among investors: nearly half of total capital was secured for such funds. In fact, seven of the top ten funds in 2013 were buyouts, collecting $71.31 billion.
Successful fundraising was largely driven by North-American focused funds with $124.5 billion collected by firms looking for investment opportunities in the region. This is a 38 percent increase on the total raised in 2012, showing renewed investor confidence in the US. However, capital raised by funds targeting Asia-Pacific has declined since 2011, when just under $62 billion was raised. In 2013, funds targeting the region collected just $27.6 billion.