Private Equity Activity Hits 5-Year High For Q1

Bailey: “Despite the severe winter weather, private equity activity in the first quarter was a bright spot for the U.S. economy.”

Washington, D.C. – Private equity investments and fundraising last quarter reached their highest first quarter levels since 2008, according to the Private Equity Growth Capital Council’s quarterly Trends Report. Continuing a seasonal trend for first quarter activity, private equity investment volume and fundraising dropped compared to the fourth quarter. Similarly, exit volume declined, but still outperformed first quarter results since 2005.

“Despite the severe winter weather, private equity activity in the first quarter was a bright spot for the U.S. economy,” said Bronwyn Bailey, PEGCC Vice President of Research. “Private equity activity continues to experience year-over-year growth since the Great Recession, providing a source of capital to promising companies and investment returns to pension funds, charitable foundations, and university endowments.”

In addition, the PEGCC Trends Report found that dry powder grew 5 percent, from $391 billion in December 2013 to $412 as of March 2014. Equity contributions were calculated at 38 percent during the first quarter.

“In the first quarter alone, private equity continued to drive economic growth by investing $110 billion in U.S.-based businesses and returning $49 billion to investors who secure retirements for millions, engage in charitable pursuits, and provide financial aid to students,” said Steve Judge, PEGCC President and CEO.

Released each quarter, the PEGCC’s Trends Report provides an analysis of key factors impacting private equity industry activity in the U.S.

The full report can be found here.

About the PEGCC Private Equity Trends Report

Designed to provide a snapshot of the private equity market, the quarterly Private Equity Trends Report analyzes key factors that affect U.S. private equity investing.  The Private Equity Trends Report provides analysis based on data from PitchBook, Preqin and Standard & Poor’s Leveraged Commentary & Data.

About Private Equity

The private equity industry in the U.S. comprises nearly 2,800 investment firms. They operate nearly 17,700 U.S.-based businesses in all 50 states and all Congressional districts. These companies employ approximately 7.5 million people. In 2012 alone, U.S. private equity firms invested $347 billion in over 2,000 U.S.-based companies. The private equity industry has distributed over $1 trillion to its limited partner investors over the past three decades.