As 2015 drew to a close the private equity industry could look back on a healthy year of fundraising, although a return to pre-crisis levels is not yet on the cards.
Around $384 billion was raised from the close of 623 funds in 2015 (see chart 1). This was around $10 billion below the previous year and despite the third quarter seeing one of the largest Q3 fund raises since the financial crisis.
Large fund closures characterised the market with the average vehicle raising $616 million, compared with $549 million in 2014 (see chart 2). Notably, Blackstone Capital Partners VII collected $18 billion.
Sector-specific private equity funds raised $81.43 billion last year, accounting for 21 percent of aggregate capital gathered. Meanwhile, sector-agnostic vehicles continued their decline (see chart 3). EnCap Energy Capital Fund X was the largest sector-specific vehicle to close in 2015, raising $6.5 billion at final close in April to invest in energy, oil and gas.
Since 2011, closed-ended private equity vehicles have raised progressively more than targeted (see chart 4). Last year, $43.84 billion was gathered above initial targets set across all vehicles. Of the 623 funds closed, 238 collected more capital than their target set, notably ICG Senior Debt Partners II, which raised $2.2 billion above its aim of $1.1 billion.
As 2016 began there were 2,534 private equity vehicles in or coming to market with a combined target of $841.25 billion (see chart 5). This is a $94.17 billion increase in total capital targeted at the same point last year, with 307 more vehicles on the road. Mezzanine or debt strategies saw the largest increases.
At the end of Q4 2015, mezzanine and debt vehicles in or coming to market had a combined target of $166.8 billion, a 69 percent increase on the amount targeted a year earlier.