Thursday 11 April 2019 1:07 pm

US private equity activity slumps in first quarter

Private equity activity in the US slumped in the first quarter of this year following a record breaking year in 2018.

US deal and exit count dropped 27.9 per cent and 42.5 per cent respectively between January and March this year.

Read more: Private equity investment bounces back at the beginning of 2019

Year-on-year deal and exit value also fell 26.7 per cent and 58.9 per cent, according to data from Pitchbook.

However, private equity fundraising remained on track after more than $40bn was raised in the first three months of 2019.

The new data follows research that showed private equity activity picked up in the UK over the same time frame, rebounding from a slump at the end of last year.

In the UK total private equity deal value rose by £3.9bn in the first quarter of 2019, compared to the same period the previous year, analysis by Unquote Data showed.

Pitchbook private equity analyst Wylie Fernyhough said: “Fundraising – unlike deals and exits – is on pace to match 2018’s annual total with over $40bn raised in the first quarter.

“Fewer but larger funds are closing, pushing median and average fund sizes even higher.

Read more: Gizmodo and The Onion sold to private equity firm

“Strategies beyond the vanilla buyout continue to proliferate, with technology-focused and growth equity funds witnessing massive closes.”

The largest US deal in the quarter was the $6.9bn take-private of data and risk management company Dun & Bradstreet by a consortium of CC Capital, Thomas H. Lee Partners and Black Knight Holdings and the six largest deals to close in the quarter were take-privates.