According to Preqin’s Funds in Market there are currently 15 private equity funds in market focused on investing solely in Canada. These vehicles are aiming to collect $2.4bn in total capital commitments. Six of these 15 funds have so far held at least one interim close, managing to collect just over $500mn in capital. Broken down by fund type, venture capital funds are the most numerous with six funds looking to raise $700mn, and real estate funds are looking to raise the most capital, aiming to collect $1.1bn. So far this year, 10 funds focused exclusively on Canadian investments have held a final close. These funds have garnered $2.3bn in total capital commitments.
There is not an evident trend in Canada-focused fundraising based on total figures in the last few years, but the best fundraising year of recent was 2011, when 17 solely Canada-focused funds managed to raise $4.1bn in aggregate capital. If some of the funds currently in market manage to reach a final close by the end of this year, there is a possibility that fundraising figures for 2013 could come close to matching the figures for 2011.
There have not been as many funds investing into venture capital as the government would have liked in the last few years. Since 2007, 22 venture capital funds investing solely in Canada have closed, garnering $2.6bn in total capital. This has led to the Venture Capital Action Plan which was announced in January 2013. This project is a strategy aimed at deploying CAD 400 million in new capital over the next 7 to 10 years.
Canada has a vast array of natural resources that companies can tap into, so it is surprising to see that there are no natural resources funds currently raising that invest only in Canada. However, there have been two funds to have closed this year that have this focus. One of them is JOG VI, which is the largest natural resources fund ever raised investing in only Canadian companies. The fund solely focuses on the upstream oil and gas industry and invests in private companies, principally start-ups, with an exclusive geographic focus on Western Canada. It reached a final close in June, raising over $500mn (CAD 537mn).
The fund looking to raise the most capital currently in market is Northam Canadian Commercial Property Fund II. This is a real estate fund focused solely on commercial property investments centred on Canada’ s major and most liquid cities and is targeting $478mn (CAD 500mn).
The largest exclusively Canada-focused fund to close so far this year is the Catalyst Fund IV, the fourth in a series of distressed debt funds from Catalyst Capital Group. The fund invests in a wide range of companies across Canada. It managed to close on $813mn, above its target of $750mn in July.