10 largest funds in market target $137bn

Blackstone's Capital Partners VIII heads a list including Ardian, Vista and Shanghai International Group.

Private equity’s biggest capital raisers are seeking 40 percent more than they were this time last year, PEI data show.

The top 10 largest funds in market were seeking $137.3 billion as of early July, compared with the $98.1 billion sought by the 10 biggest vehicles a year ago.

Blackstone‘s Capital Partners VIII, which is on its way to become the largest ever buyout fund raised, takes top spot among the largest vehicles on the fundraising trail. The firm has so far raised more than $22 billion in April out of an up to $25 billion target. Capital raised for BCP VIII will be invested in control-oriented investments mainly in North America, with approximately one-third allocated to western Europe and Asia.

Ardian comes in second with its ASF VIII fund, which is seeking $18 billion. The target comprises a $12 billion commingled secondaries vehicle and $6 billion in co-investments. Capital raised for ASF VIII will target transactions of at least $1 billion as well as complex transactions.

Vista Equity Partners has a $16 billion target for its seventh flagship fund. The software-focused firm expects to cap the fund on $15 billion, a meaningful increase from the $11 billion it raised for Fund VI. The latest vehicle will continue to offer investors two management fee and carry options.

Shanghai International Group, which invests on behalf of the Shanghai Municipal Government, is targeting 100 billion yuan ($14.5 billion; €12.9 billion) for its Yangtze River Delta Collaborative Advantage Fund. Capital for the vehicle will be used to back technology projects that will help integrate industries in the Yangtze delta, which includes Shanghai and the manufacturing hubs of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui.

Secondaries firm Lexington Partners is seeking $12 billion for its ninth flagship fund, which it launched in February last year. The firm had amassed about 75 percent of the target as of July last year, according to sister title Secondaries Investor. The vehicle targets mid-sized buyout funds in the US.

Permira Advisers, TPG, Apax Partners and BlackRock are also in the market with funds targeting at least $10 billion each, according to PEI data.