PE fundraising nears 2008 levels – updated

Several huge closes drove the average fund size to $778.8m in 2017, up from $564.2m the previous year.

Private equity firms amassed more than $409.6 billion in 2017 as fund sizes soared.

Firms held 543 fund closes last year, according to Private Equity International data. This is compared with $364.5 billion raised across 646 fund closes in 2016.

Apollo Investment Fund IX marked 2017’s largest fund close at $24.7 billion, the biggest in private equity history. The fund was accompanied by a number of other mammoth closes, including CVC Capital Partners VII on $18.6 billion and Silver Lake Partners V on $15 billion.

Such closes helped drive the average fund size to $754.3 million in 2017, up from $564.2 million the previous year.

Multi-regional funds attracted the most capital, raising $166 billion. North American funds came a close second, having secured $156.9 billion, followed by European and Asia-Pacific funds with $47 billion and $37.7 billion of commitments respectively.

Buyouts remained the most popular strategy, with LPs dedicating $272.3 billion to such vehicles. Growth equity followed with $50.8 billion raised.

PEI no longer includes mezzanine debt, real estate or infrastructure funds when calculating fundraising data, which may result in discrepancies with previous annual fundraising articles.

Update: the numbers have been adjusted to remove Ardian’s ASF VII Fund, which was incorrectly counted in 2017.