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TPG once again ranks as world's largest PE firm

The PEI 300 ranks TPG Capital the largest private equity direct investment programme in the world, beating out last year’s leader Goldman Sachs. The total amount raised by the industry's 50 largest firms, however, has been on the decline.

TPG Capital has overtaken Goldman Sachs as the largest private equity firm in the world, according to the PEI 300, Private Equity International magazine’s proprietary ranking of private equity direct-investment programmes.

TPG has raised $50.5 billion over the past five years, eclipsing Goldman’s five-year fundraising total of $47.2 billion. The number one spot is familiar to TPG, which was also the largest private equity firm in our 2009 ranking. The firm, led by by former Robert Bass executives David Bonderman and James Coulter, ranked fourth last year, with a five-year fundraising total of $45.1 billion.

The firm has kept busy over the past year, boosting its presence in various strategies like debt and real estate investment, as well as in emerging markets. In the past year, the firm has launched not one but two RMB funds for China investment, for example.

A complete list of the top 300 firms can be viewed here.

The PEI 300 is explored in detail in the May issue of Private Equity International magazine. 

The article, accessible to Private Equity International subscribers, may be viewed here.

TPG’s most recent flagship investment vehicle – Fund VI – closed on $19.8 billion in 2008, just as the financial markets entered their downward spiral. The firm eventually allowed limited partners in the fund to cut their commitments by up to 10 percent, making the fund size about $17.8 billion.

The Carlyle Group placed third $40.5 billion, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts ranked fourth with $40.2 billion and The Blackstone Group clinched the No. 5 spot with $36.4 billion.

Industrial Growth Partners rounds out the list at number 300, tied with TSG Consumer Partners with $900 million each.

The top 300 list this year shows that private equity fundraising has continued to slow down. The 300 firms in this year’s ranking have raised a total of $1.302 trillion over the past five years. Last year, the total was $1.315 trillion, which was a step down from the $1.337 trillion the top 300 firms collect over a five-year period as of April 2009.

The rankings also show that the top 50 firms have increasingly collected less capital over five-year periods, more evidence that the fundraising environment is stagnant. This year, the top 50 firms raised a total of $734 billion over five years, compared to $772 billion last year and $813 billion that had been raised over five years as of April 2009.

The PEI 300 list, now in its fifth year, is the only apples-to-apples ranking of private equity firms by size. It ranks firms by the amount of direct-investment private equity capital raised over a five-year window.  

A full report on the PEI 300, complete with analysis from PEI's sister data service PE Connect, is in the May issue of Private Equity International.