Fundraising On Pace For Lowest Total In Years –

Prior to adding up the fundraising numbers for the first quarter of 2003, many buyout pros thought last year’s total might represent the trough in the up-and-down cycle of LBO fundraising. But with first-quarter estimates hovering around $3.4 billion, 2003 is on pace to reach the lowest total in 10 years.

“It seems pretty clear already that 2003 will take us back to the early 1990s in terms of fundraising totals for U.S. funds,” said Kevin Albert, a placement agent and managing director with Merrill Lynch.

Of the LBO and mezzanine capital raised last quarter, more than $1.8 billion was gathered by MidOcean Partners, a spinoff of DB Capital Partners and its secondaries fund. While MidOcean purchased an entire portfolio, as opposed to a singular purchase, the firm raised the money for the purchase from new investors, in order to purchase spun-off assets.

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