Preqin’s Funds in Market module on Private Equity Online contains detailed information on the 177 buyout funds that reached a final close in 2015, which secured an aggregate $159bn in capital commitments. Mega buyout funds* accounted for a quarter of capital raised in 2015, nearly half of which was secured by the fifth largest buyout fund of all time, Blackstone Capital Partners VII, as shown in the table below.
Closed in December 2015, Blackstone Capital Partners VII fund raised $18bn including a $500mn commitment from Blackstone and its employees. Fundraising for the vehicle began in November 2014 and it held a $15.7bn first close in May 2015 before going on to raise $1.8bn more than its predecessor. The fund focuses on making control and control-oriented private equity investments on a global scale, while utilizing a thematic, sector-based approach to investing.
The largest Europe-focused buyout vehicle ever raised is Apax Europe VII, managed by Apax Partners. The €11bn fund reached a final close in 2008 and seeks out large buyout transactions in technology, telecoms, healthcare, consumer products & services and media among others. Apax Partners’ follow on effort, Apax VIII, secured €5.8bn; this was €200mn short of its €6bn target.
There are 323 buyout funds currently in market aiming to collect just over $256bn, with 15 of these funds classified as mega buyout funds, accounting for 42% ($107bn) of total capital targeted. Small buyouts make up 57% of buyout funds in market but account for just 15% of total target capital. The largest buyout fund currently in market is Advent International’s latest vehicle, Advent Global Private Equity VIII. The fund is targeting $12bn to invest into North America- and West Europe-based companies.
*Buyout Size Ranges: Vintage 2005 - 2015: Small Buyout ≤ $500mn, Mid Buyout $501mn - $1,500mn, Large Buyout $1,501mn - $4.5bn, Mega Buyout > $4.5bn