Private Equity Fund-Raising Slows Rapidly - Survey

Tom Burroughes Editor London 16 January 2009

Private Equity Fund-Raising Slows Rapidly - Survey

The pace of fund-raising by private equity houses slowed in the last three months of last year as the financial crisis sapped investor appetite, cutting total commitments to this asset class to $554 billion, according to Preqin, a research firm tracking the sector.

A total of 768 funds achieved a final close in their fund-raising roadshows last year, compared with 1,045 funds who raised a total of $625 billion in 2007, the report said.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, a total of $97.5 billion in money was raised in commitments, down from $110 in the third quarter and $186.5 billion in the previous quarter.

As a result of recent fund-raising and the current economic climate, Preqin estimates there is about $1.2 trillion of un-called investments, or “dry powder”, in the industry.

Last year, the largest number of funds on the road were venture capital funds (217), followed by buyout funds (170) and property funds (166). There were 209 funds in the Other Funds category, covering various asset types.

A recent Preqin poll of investors found that only 4 per cent of respondents intend to cut private equity investments in future, a result that led the research house to conclude that most investors are positive about the sector’s long-term prospects.

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