Private Equity Giants Dominate '13 Fundraising

Jan 13 2014 | 1:21pm ET

Investors returned in droves to private equity last year—and especially to the very biggest p.e. firms.

Some $169 billion was raised by private-equity firms in 2013, the most since 2008, according to Preqin. And more than half of it went to the largest players in the industry, those with at least $4.5 billion in assets.

By contrast, only about one-third of the $95 billion raised in 2012 went to the "megafunds."

"The mega buyout funds are back in town," Preqin's Nick Jelfs said. "Many of those big managers are displaying really good performance in their previous funds, which started investing around the time of the crisis."

Last year was the first since the crisis to see the largest p.e. firms take home half of the money raised by the industry. And the average size of the 145 funds raised in 2013 was actually higher than in 2008, by a score of $1.2 billion to $1.1 billion. In 2012, the average was just $740 million.

All told, 145 buyout funds were raised last year, none bigger than Apollo Global Management's eighth fund, which with $18.4 billion accounted for more than 10% of the total raised by the industry in 2013.

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