Illinois leads states in total PE investment

  • PE firms invest $96.4 bln in Illinois businesses
  • 3G, Berkshire Hathaway buyout of Kraft pushed Illinois into lead
  • Total PE investment in U.S. businesses rose 29 pct to $626 bln

The Land of Lincoln led all states in total private equity investment last year, according to research published by the American Investment Council.

PE firms invested more than $96.4 billion in 193 Illinois-based companies in 2015. The amount more than triples what PE firms allocated to the state’s businesses in 2014, AIC research showed.

The bulk of the state’s haul came from 3G Capital and Berkshire Hathaway’s acquisition of Northfield-based Kraft Foods Group, a deal the council pegged at $55 billion.

Warren Buffett and 3G’s acquisition of Kraft also pushed Illinois’s Ninth District, which is represented by Democratic Rep. Janice Schakowsky, into the lead for total PE investment among U.S. congressional districts. Companies located on Chicago’s north side and surrounding suburbs received $56.3 billion in private equity capital last year.

California fell to second place behind Illinois, but total PE investment in Golden-State-based companies rose more than 50 percent year over year. General partners allocated $86.7 billion across almost 500 California businesses last year. New York, where PE firms invested $57 billion in 277 companies, received the third-most PE capital.

In aggregate, private equity firms invested $626 billion in U.S. companies in 2015, up 29 percent from 2014’s total, AIC research showed. The number of U.S.-based PE firms increased almost 9 percent, to 4,188 from 3,847, the council — previously known as the Private Equity Growth Capital Council — reported.

The American Investment Council is a lobbying group representing 37 PE firms. Founding members include Apollo Global Management, Blackstone Group, Carlyle Group, Hellman & Friedman, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co, Madison Dearborn Partners, Providence Equity Partners, Silver Lake Partners, TPG and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Action Item: AIC’s state-by-state breakdown:

Republican Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs-up after winning the midterm elections in Chicago on November 4, 2014.  Photo courtesy of Reuters/Jim Young