In 2011, 905 funds raised a total of $311 billion. While the total amount of capital raised in 2012 increased, the number of funds successfully closing declined by more than 24% to 687. That supports the widespread contention that private equity fundraising is becoming more and more divided between the haves and the have-nots.
Blackstone Real Estate Partners VII easily led the pack last year, raising $13.3 billion in a fourth-quarter close. In that quarter, real estate was the most popular focus, with 29 funds raising a total of $22.6 billion. Almost all this money is being targeted at North American property. For the year, 141 funds raised more than $54 billion for real estate acquisitions.
Buyout funds remained the biggest category, with 104 funds raising $86.6 billion. The single biggest buyout fund was Advent Global Private Equity VII, which raised €8.5 billion ($11.2 billion) in a fourth-quarter close.
According to Preqin, almost 2,000 firms are now on the road raising funds with combined targets of $797.1 billion. Preqin figures the time spent marketing a fund last year averaged 17 months, slightly more time than it took in 2011, but less than the 19.1 months needed to fundraise in 2010.
"With a record number of funds on the road and with the time taken to raise funds increasing slightly, the market will remain very competitive during 2013," Preqin senior manager Helen Kenyon said in a statement.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch's head of Asia Pacific global markets, Boon Chye Loh, is leaving the bank. For other updates launch today's Movers & shakers slideshow.
Low interest rates and alternative financing sources are just two of the many things affecting private equity deals right now, according to Paul Aversano, managing director at Alvarez & Marsal LLC. In a recent studio interview, Aversano discussed the conditions both buyers and sellers are facing at this time. Aversano, who is also the global practice leader for the firm's transaction advisory group, also outlined how low interest rates will continue to affect the M&A market and the pressure that PE firms are feeling to transact. More video