Using Preqin’s Fund Manager Profiles data, we can see that the volume of estimated dry powder available to buyout firms has increased considerably over the last eight years, with $185 billion available in December 2003 and this figure rising year on year to a peak of $494 billion in December 2009. However, estimated dry powder for buyout fund managers has decreased since 2009, with $427 billion available in December 2010 and $399 billion as of May 2011.
In terms of estimated dry powder by region, North America-focused buyout funds have the most available, with $215 billion as of May 2011. This is $57 billion less than in December 2009. European-focused buyout funds are sitting on $132 billion of dry powder as of May 2011, down from December 2008 when buyout funds focused on this region had an estimated $167 billion available. Buyout funds focused on Asia and Rest of World have an estimated $53 billion worth of dry powder to draw from as of May 2011. This is a small decrease on the $57 billion available as of December 2009.
Preqin’s league tables reveal that the private equity firms with the most dry powder available solely from buyout funds raised are Blackstone Group with $14.6 billion on hand, followed by Carlyle Group with an estimated $13.4 billion available. Texas based TPG ranks third with an estimated $12.1 billion available in dry powder.