Private equity dry powder reached a record $1.3 trillion at the end of the first half, up 18% from the end of December, according to Preqin, the alternatives data provider.
With $475 billion available for investments, buyout funds accounted for the biggest proportion of dry powder, followed by $253 billion for real estate-focused funds, Preqin reported.
At the end of June, Preqin tracked 5,874 LPs, all of which it said were considering investments in private equity. Sixty-nine percent were looking to buyout funds, compared with 62% at the same time last year.
Investors also had a strong, and growing, appetite for venture capital funds, accounting for 51% of searches, up from 37% a year ago.
Growth funds appealed to 40% of investors.
Fund searches in the second quarter showed 50% each of investors seeking opportunities in North America and Europe, and a considerable proportion of those in other geographical regions targeting those two areas.
In Q2, 765 private equity-backed buyout deals were announced, the lowest number since Q1 2010. Both North America and Asia experienced lower aggregate buyout deal value from the previous quarter.
However, a resurgence of European deal activity, with significant numbers of large cap deals across the continent, drove up the quarter’s global buyout deal value to $99 billion, matching Q1 deal value.
In contrast, the venture capital deal space saw some strong activity in Q2. While the number of deals remained constant from Q1, the aggregate value, at $34 billion, was 42% higher than in last year’s second quarter, and represented the highest quarterly figure in the period since 2007.
Global fundraising was relatively slow during Q2, with 243 funds that closed raising an aggregate $113 billion. This compared with 314 funds that raised $161 billion in Q2 2014.
Private real estate funds accounted for the largest proportion of capital raised in Q2, $26.5 billion in 49 closed funds.
Thirty-nine buyout funds had final closes, accounting for $18.5 billion of capital raised, and 80 closed venture capital funds raised $14.4 billion.
Following are the biggest private equity funds closed in Q2:
- Lexington Capital Partners VIII, U.S., secondaries fund: $10.1 billion
- EnCap Energy Capital Fund X, U.S., natural resources fund: $6.5 billion
- Lone Star Real Estate Fund IV, U.S.: $5.8 billion
- CRE Senior 9 (AXA Real Estate), France: $3.2 billion
- ISQ (I Squared Capital) Global Infrastructure Fund, U.S.: $3 billion
- TPG Growth III, U.S., growth fund: $3 billion
- CVI (CarVal Investors) Credit Value Fund III, U.S., distressed debt fund: $3 billion