Private equity firms in $300bn fundraising boom

Global private equity fundraising has reached $300bn in the first nine months of 2006, already ahead of the $283bn raised in all of 2005.

Private equity funds have raised more money in the first nine months of 2006 than in the whole of 2005, according to data from research group Private Equity Intelligence.
A total of 436 new private equity funds raised $300 billion (€235.5 billion) during the year to date. This was a record, said the research group, and a six percent increase on the 2005 entire year total of $283 billion.
US-based funds dominated the fundraising, with 225 new vehicles amassing $199 billion during the period. 110 Europe-based funds raised $70 billion and 101 funds based in Asia and the rest of the world raised $31 billion.
Buyout funds proved to be the most popular with investors, amassing $160 billion from 118 funds in total. Of that total, ‘mega funds’ of above $3 billion, raised just under $100 billion. Private equity firms closing ‘mega funds’ this year included Bain Capital, The Blackstone Group and Texas Pacific Group.
Real estate funds, which did not figure in last year’s report from Private Equity Intelligence, also proved attractive to investors in 2006, with 64 funds raising $40 billion.
The report added that 135 venture capital funds raised $35 billion; 44 funds of funds raised $13 billion; 26 mezzanine funds raised $15 billion; and nine distressed funds raised $6 billion.
With 821 funds currently actively fundraising, the report said that a further $343 billion is expected to be raised, but not all by the end of the year.
Total fundraising for 2006 is predicted to reach $400 billion, significantly higher than $242 billion raised in 2000, a record until last year’s figures.