Private Equity Investment Volume Doubles from 2017

WASHINGTON – US private equity investment volume increased to $57 billion in the first quarter of 2018, a staggering 159 percent increase from the first quarter of 2017, according to the American Investment Council’s (AIC) 2018 Q1 Private Equity Trends report, released today.

“The dramatic increase in private equity investment this past year shows that our industry continues to find new and innovative ways to invest in portfolio companies, improve their performance, create jobs, and add long-term value in the process.” said AIC President and CEO Mike Sommers. “Private equity has a proven track record of success.”

In addition to high levels of investment, Q1 2018 saw fundraising totals drop to $26 billion, a 57 percent decline from this point last year. These low fundraising volumes come after a record year in 2017. In addition, exit volumes soared to $92 billion and dry powder reserves grew to a record $641 billion.

“Dry powder reserves once again hit historic levels, showing that investors have great confidence in private equity’s long-term returns,” said Bronwyn Bailey, AIC Vice President of Research and Investor Relations. “The shift from fundraising to investing and exits suggests that the industry is ready to put more of that fresh capital to work.”

Below are key findings from the report. Read the full report here.

  1. U.S. PE Investment Volume Rises: U.S. private equity investment volume increased to $57 billion in Q1-2018 from $22 billion in Q1-2017.
  2. Equity Contributions Drop: Total equity financing for leveraged buyouts fell to 39.2 percent in Q1-2018, a decrease of 3 percent from Q1-2017.
  3. U.S. Fundraising Falls: U.S. private equity fundraising volume fell to $26 billion, a 57 percent decrease from $60 billion in Q1-2017.
  4. Dry Powder Rises: Callable capital reserves of global buyout funds rose to $641 billion in Q1-2018, a 3 percent increase from $628 billion in December 2017.
  5. Exit Volumes Increased: U.S. private equity exit volume soared to $92 billion, a 136 percent increase from $39 billion in Q1-2017.