Illinois tops US PE investing in 2015

For the first time, Illinois ranked first in the amount of PE capital invested among all US states, with $94.64bn invested in the state last year, supporting the American Investment Council’s message that private equity has become ubiquitous in the US.

In its continued effort to show US lawmakers the ubiquity of private equity in their districts, the American Investment Council (AIC) found in its latest ranking of states and congressional districts that Illinois was the US state of choice for the private equity industry last year.

For the first time in AIC’s ranking history, the Midwest state topped the charts with $94.64 billion, more than triple the $29.4 billion amount it received in 2014. That amount was supported by the $55 billion investment by 3G Capital, Berkshire Hathaway and Kraft Heinz in Kraft Foods Group last July.

Illinois was followed this year by California, which received $86.73 billion, New York, which saw $57.02 billion invested in the state, Texas, with $55.43 billion, and Georgia, with $26.83 billion.

Overall capital invested in the US last year by private equity firms totalled $625.89 billion, according to the AIC.
The AIC ranks states and congressional districts to show the results to US Members of Congress, according to AIC spokesman James Maloney.

“Breaking down invested capital and private equity-backed companies to the district level allows us to most easily show the direct benefits of private equity to lawmakers,” he told Private Equity International in an email. “We find that many members of Congress are surprised to learn of the outsized positive impact that private equity is having in their district.”

Mike Sommers, president of chief executive of AIC, earlier this month reminded a room full of private equity professionals at the PEI IR Forum in New York of the importance to educate US lawmakers and explain them the key role of private equity and its contribution to local US economies.

“We try to bring private equity to Washington DC to explain what it is,” he said. “Lawmakers don’t understand what private equity is. Private equity is about building companies and building growth. We also need to talk about how private equity is securing returns for teachers and firefighters.”

In terms of the number of companies targeted by private equity firms, California ranked first, with 488 companies. Texas had 375 companies, New York had 277 companies, Florida had 225 companies and Illinois had 193 companies, reproducing the same top-five ranking as the previous year. Nationally, 3,770 US-based companies received private equity investment last year.

Illinois’ ninth congressional district, represented by Democrat Jan Schakowsky, welcomed the most amount of capital, at $56.29 billion. Democrat Carolyn Maloney’s 12th district in New York ranked second, followed by Democrat Danny Davis’ seventh district in Illinois, Republican David Schweikert’s sixth district in Arizona and Democrat Scott Peters’ 52nd district in California, the AIC said.

But with the number of companies, Schakowsky’s district did not make the top 20, with just 12 companies. Maloney’s 12th district in New York topped the list, with 105 companies receiving private equity capital.