The U.S. private equity industry recorded its highest exit volume ever last year, according to the Private Equity Growth Capital Council.
PEGCC recently released its trends report for the fourth quarter of 2014. According to the report, annual U.S. private equity exit volume increased 35% year over year from $191 billion in 2013 to $257 billion in 2014 — pushing the 2014 exit volume to the “highest level ever.”
Bronwyn Bailey, vice president of research at the PEGCC, notes, in a statement, that the exit trends meant strong returns for investors. “Exit volume in 2014 translated into tangible benefits for investors, namely, record distributions from private equity funds,” Bailey said. “If public indices remain high, I expect continued robust exit volume in the upcoming year.”
U.S. private equity investment volume also closed the year on a high note, at the highest level since 2007.
According to PEGCC, annual U.S. private equity investment volume increased from $501 billion in 2013 to $523 billion in 2014 — up 4% year over year.
Private equity activity strengthened overall in 2014 — despite a decline in U.S. fundraising, both callable capital reserves and leveraged buyouts increased.
Callable capital reserves, also called “dry powder,” of global buyout funds increased significantly to $467 billion in December 2014 from $399 billion a year earlier, according to the report.
Total equity financing for leveraged buyouts increased from 37% at the end of 2013 to 39% for 2014.