Twelve days of private equity Christmas

The private equity industry was the gift that kept on giving this year.

In 2017 Private Equity International sent our readers…

TWELVE-month subscription credit lines: the talk of the market this year, and the catalyst for our Fund Finance Focus series. As we dug deeper, we found an issue as divisive among limited partners as any we’ve covered in this publication’s history.

ELEVEN LP stakes: went up for sale when Wilbur Ross was appointed Secretary of Commerce. After he was sworn in at the end of February, the billionaire businessman and founder of private equity firm WL Ross & Co was expected to divest stakes in at least 11 limited partnerships and 25 WL Ross & Co-related entities, as well as other holdings, according to a letter submitted to the Department of Commerce’s designated ethics official on 15 January.

TEN key elections: including in the UK, France, Germany, Iran, New Zealand, Japan and Kenya, which all took their toll on the markets.

NINE-ty three billion dollars: the amount raised so far for SoftBank’s Vision Fund, a colossal tech vehicle in market targeting $100 billion. SoftBank has used capital from the fund to lead a $200 million investment round in San Francisco-based indoor farming company Plenty as well as a number of other deals.

EIGHT percent: the target allocation to private equity at Orange County Employees Retirement System, increased in January from 6 percent. This was a sign of things to come, with a steady stream of LPs – including LA Water & Power, the Alaska Retirement Management Board and East Riding of Yorkshire County Council Pension Fund – upping allocations and commitments to the asset class or alternatives during the year.

SEVEN pretenders to the throne at Blackstone: with the Carlyle Group, KKR and even Apollo setting out their succession plans this year, it was only natural industry eyes turned to Blackstone, which has yet to name its heir(s) apparent. PEI identified seven of the top team who could be in the running.

SIX percent hurdle rate: on CVC Capital Partners Fund VII, the largest-ever euro-denominated fund which closed on €16 billion in June. CVC is one of only a handful of firms who have risked lowering the hurdle rate from the industry-standard 8 percent. Investors seemed unfazed; the fund commanded €30 billion of interest.

FIVE blue-chip GP-led secondaries: this handful of big deals pushed GP-leds into the mainstream in 2017. BC Partners, Warburg Pincus, EQTNordic Capital and Apax Partners have all explored transactions this year, with three closing, one in the bidding stage, and one firm deciding not to proceed.

FOUR giant funds: a quartet of funds closed above $10 billion this year, raising a combined $72 billion. They are managed by Apollo Global Management, CVC Capital Partners, Silver Lake and KKR.

THREE-point-two percent: weighted average return for Public Pension Reserve Funds from December 2014 to December 2015, according to the latest available figures from the OECD.

TWO ex-Carlyle Group members: on the Fed board at the end of the year. Jerome Powell – newly minted chair of the US Federal Reserve and partner at Carlyle from 1997-2005 – joined the board in 2012. Randal Quarles, vice-chairman for supervision, joined in October to fill an unexpired term. He had been founder and managing director of Utah-based investment firm Cynosure Group, and before that a partner at… Carlyle.