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Private Equity Robust in 2016, American Investment Council Says

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Annual U.S. private equity investment volume stood at $653 billion in 2016, a decline of 12% from the year before, but the second highest level since 2007, the American Investment Council reported this week.

The council said equity financing’s contribution to capital reserve bases reached 43% in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 2%.

“The latest numbers show a sustained growth of the industry throughout 2016,” the council’s president and chief executive, Mike Sommers, said in a statement.

The AIC report noted that annual U.S. exit volume last year fell by 23% from 2015 to $321 billion, involving about 1,100 exits, down from some 1,300 the year before.

Meanwhile, global buyout funds’ callable capital reserves rose to $526 billion in January from $473 billion in 2015.

Bronwyn Bailey, the AIC’s vice president of research and investor relations, said the 11% increase in dry powder was “a sign that the industry is poised for more acquisitions in 2017.”

Annual U.S. private equity fundraising volume fell from $203 billion in 2015 to $187 billion in 2016, according to the report. Despite the 8% drop, Bailey said, “fundraising is still well above levels we saw just a few years ago.”

Indeed, U.S. fundraising plummeted from a peak of $242 billion in 2007 to a measly $76 billion in 2010 before slowly recovering to current levels.

A recent report said that the biggest private equity managers and investors were playing an increasingly outsize role in the sector.

Large managers can raise ever-larger funds quickly, and offer investors more attractive terms that smaller ones, while institutional investors can influence fee rates and push for direct and co-investments.


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