Europe shines amid H1 fundraising drop

Total fundraising dropped to a three-year low of $162bn, down from a record $285bn for the same period last year, according to PEI data.

Europe-focused private equity funds have already gathered more than three-quarters of the total they raised for the whole of last year against a three-year low in first-half fundraising.

Total fundraising in the six months to 30 June fell to $162.1 billion, down from a peak of $284.8 billion for the same period last year, according to preliminary PEI data.

Private equity funds raised $42.3 billion for Europe, nearing the $54.8 billion amassed last year. EQT claimed the largest close of any strategy, followed by BC Partners European Capital X, which invests across North America and Europe, at €7 billion.

“There’s been a slight uptick from some of the Asian markets that have maybe stayed away for a period,” Janet Brooks, partner at placement agent Monument Group, told Private Equity International. “More Asian investors are becoming more mature in their programmes so are maybe looking to do a wider amount of funds in Europe in the current period.”

Many GPs have also extended their offerings through smaller deal funds or different strategies, Brooks added.

EQT’s Fund VIII – which invests mainly in Northern Europe – held the largest close in H1 on €10.75 billion, with Asian LPs accounting for 18 percent of commitments. Bridgepoint Europe VI and PAI Europe VII were the next largest Europe-focused vehicles at €5.7 billion and €5 billion respectively.

Global funds, which collected just $39.5 billion in the first half, may find it difficult to match the $177.6 billion raised across 2017.