Bottom Line: Proof that megafunds are back

Elizabeth Fournier
IF INVESTORS were waiting for proof that private equity (PE) was back, then it was provided yesterday by US giant Carlyle. The firm said it had raised a massive $13bn for its sixth US buyout fund – a third more than expected, despite this being its first foray back into domestic markets since the financial crisis.

It’s part of a wider trend. According to recent data, buyout funds – both US and globally focused ­– raised a total of $124.5bn worldwide in the first nine months of 2013, up from just $82.5bn in the same period last year. Such is the demand that Carlyle was even turning down money from hungry investors, who apparently wanted to add another $1bn to the pot. Though they’re are still much warier than at the height of PE fundraisings in 2008, appetite is clearly increasing – leaving Carlyle sitting on a huge US warchest. But it also told investors earlier this month that it is “working on a number of exits”. Whatever it does next, things are definitely hotting up for David M Rubenstein and co.

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