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European fundraising up 12% in first half 2006

European private equity firms have raised €33bn in the first six months of 2006, up from €29.8bn in the first half of 2005, driven by increases in buyout fundraising.

Private equity firms in Europe raised €33 billion ($43 billion) across 63 funds in the first half of 2006, up 12 percent from the same period of 2005.
 
According to figures from Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst, which has tracked the private equity market since 1991, 60 funds raised €29.8 billion in the first six months of 2005.
 
Buyout funds  took the lion’s share in the first half of 2006, with 28 firms representing 88 percent of total capital raised. The €29 billion raised by buyout funds was 45 percent more than that raised in the comparable period of 2005.
 
Venture capital funds, funds of funds and mezzanine funds, however, all raised less capital than in the first half of last year.
 
The survey also reported that European fundraising is trailing the US, despite the increases in buyout funds. European funds have raised 44 percent as much as US firms in 2006, compared to 57 percent in the same period last year.
 
This is due to the number of funds that have raised more than $10 billion in the US this year, added the survey – such as The Blackstone Group, which raised $15.6 billion for its fifth buyout fund in July. In comparison, Permira is the only European private equity firm to have raised a similar size fund, reaching a ‘dry close’ of a little above €10 billion ($12.8 billion) the same month.