World's largest-ever private equity fund set to close "imminently" at $23.5bn

 
Lucy White
30th Anniversary of Apollo 11 Moon Mission
Apollo is certainly aiming for the moon with its latest record $23.5bn fund (Source: Getty)

Apollo Global Management, the alternative investment leviathan, is set to make a world record by closing its ninth flagship private equity fund at $23.5bn (£18.18bn).

The New York-listed firm, headed by prominent US businessman Leon Black, will announce a formal close of the fund “imminently”, City A.M. understands.

It was widely reported earlier this year that the firm was aiming for at least $20bn.

Apollo’s private equity business already had around $45bn of assets under management as of March this year. Its latest fund will surpass the previous record of $21.7bn, raised by Blackstone in 2007 at the height of the bull market.

Read more: Apollo considering stock market float as well as sale for jewellery company Aurum

Apollo’s previous buyout fund, an $18.38bn pool raised in 2013, was the largest since the financial crisis.

As the firm’s ninth global fund, the billions of dollars will be spent buying companies around the world which can be sold on for a profit after consolidation in the sector, shedding of non-core assets or restructuring.

Private equity firms with a strong record are having little trouble raising capital at the moment, as institutional investors have significant amounts of cash to spend after post-crisis investments have been returned to them.

Yet some worry that certain firms are being overly optimistic, raising huge sums of money when asset prices are high since it could prove hard to make a return in the event of an economic downturn.

According to a report in February from private equity advisor Bain & Company, all private equity funds across the globe at the time held a total of $1.5 trillion in undeployed capital waiting to be invested.

Read more: Heavyweight UK buyout funds take advantage of “frothy” markets to launch record new funds

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