Private equity deal flow reached 2,866 deals for the full year 2012, with the total aggregate value at $254.6bn, nearing the post-Lehman highs of 2011 of an aggregate $264.8bn from 2,900 buyouts. But which firms were the most active deal makers? Below we have compiled a list of the top five most active private equity firms in 2012. The ranking is based on announced and completed deals and deal values.
#1: Carlyle Group tops the list for 2012 after investing $26.87bn. The firm was involved in 48 private equity-backed acquisitions across a broad range of industries, from financial services and IT in the US, to digital media in China and retail in Brazil. Carlyle’s largest transaction of the year was the $4.9bn buyout of DuPont Performance Coatings announced in August.
#2: Apollo Global Management comes in second place with the New York-based private equity firm investing an aggregate $13.56bn across 16 private equity-backed deals. Apollo was one of the lead investors involved in 2012’s largest private equity transaction – the $7.15bn buyout of El Paso Corporation Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production Assets. Riverstone Holdings also participated in the transaction along with Access Industries and Korea National Oil Corporation.
#3: Blackstone Group is third in our top five list, with the buyout firm investing in 33 deals amounting to $13bn in aggregate capital. Blackstone invested globally in 2012, diversifying its investments across a variety of industry sectors from healthcare in Germany, business services in South Africa and Switzerland, manufacturing in India, and environment services in the US. The firm’s largest transaction was the $2.2bn buyout of EMI Music Publishing alongside Sony, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Development Co, and Raine Group.
#4: Fourth on the list is Riverstone Holdings having invested $10.94bn in 2012 across 12 private equity transactions. The US-based firm was one of the consortium of investors in the largest transaction of last year - the $7.15bn buyout of El Paso Corporation Oil And Natural Gas Exploration And Production Assets. Another notable deal by Riverstone included the $625mn buyout of Fieldwood Energy LLC, announced in December.
#5: Advent International is the fifth largest deal maker of 2012, having investing an aggregate $10.84bn across 15 private equity-backed buyouts. The Boston-based private equity firm was involved in several large-cap private equity transactions including the $3bn buyout of TransUnion alongside Goldman Sachs Merchant Banking Division, and the $3bn buyout of AOT Bedding Super Holdings.