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U.S. Private Equity Holds Steady in Q2

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U.S. private equity investment volume amounted to $146 billion for the second quarter, down from the previous quarter’s $156 billion but on par with investment levels in the fourth quarter of 2015, the American Investment Council reported this week.

Deal flow was also down quarter over quarter, from some 850 deals to about 750 deals.

Exit activity in the second quarter rebounded after experiencing a slowdown in the first three months of the year, surging 25% to $83 billion. The number of exits fell slightly to 235.

Total equity financing for U.S. leveraged buyouts fell to 45% from 47% in the first quarter.

“Even as global markets seem uncertain, this report indicates that private equity continues to remain a steady force for the U.S. economy,” AIC president and chief executive Mike Sommers said in a statement.

AIC bases its quarterly reports on research by PitchBook and Preqin.

The report’s findings showed healthy fundraising volume and record levels of callable capital reserves in the second quarter.

U.S. fundraising levels fell by 16% from the first quarter to $49 billion, but still registered the second highest level for any Q2 over the past decade, according to the report. It should be noted that the average quarterly raise in 2015 was $49 billion.

The number of funds raising capital decreased to 47 from 67 in the first quarter.

Global callable capital reserves committed to buyout funds rose by 4% to $518 billion from the end of March to the end of June. This surpassed year-end totals for each of the previous 13 years, AIC reported.

The year-end highs during that stretch for dry powder levels committed to buyout funds were $481 billion, recorded in December 2008 and again in December 2009.

“With investment on par with previous Q2 levels and continued healthy fundraising, private equity funds are well positioned despite the relatively rocky market conditions during the first half of 2016 and potentially through early 2017,” Bronwyn Bailey, the AIC’s vice president of research and investor relations, said in a statement.

“It’s during times of uncertainty that private equity has historically made some of the most profitable investments, which lead to strong returns for its investors.”