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.