Blackstone is on course to raise over US$10bn for its upcoming global private equity fund. That target would trump Goldman Sachs Capital Partners’ US$8.5bn global buyout fund as the largest private equity vehicle raised to date.
Apollo Management has also started fundraising, with a view to generating US$6bn for new investment, and Warburg Pincus is expected to raise around US$8bn. Carlyle recently closed a US$7.85bn US fund and a US$2.2bn European fund.
This fundraising comes after a year of substantial returns to investors, which is encouraging wider support for the private equity asset class. The public equity markets have shown signs of recovery, while benign conditions in the debt markets have led to cheap borrowing and facilitated dividend payments.
Blackstone was part of a private equity consortium that recently sold a controlling interest in pharmaceutical company Nycomed to Nordic Capital. The deal valued the business at €1.8bn. It was also part of a group that failed to buy Italian telecoms company Wind for over €11bn, and is involved in the auction for Spanish telecom Auna.
Almeida Capital, a private equity research firm and placement agent, forecasts that fundraising in Europe will rise to €46bn this year from €25bn in 2003.