Market at a Glance: Advent kicks off Q2 fund-raising

Advent International kicked off the second quarter’s fund-raising drive with a bang as it closed its sixth global buyout fund, Advent International GPE VI, at the hard cap of $10.4 billion. The fund was oversubscribed with more than $15 billion in interest from investors, according to the firm.

Buyout and mezzanine firms have raised $76.7 billion year-to-date. The latest tally includes not only Advent’s sixth fund but also The Carlyle Group’s effort to raise $1.35 billion for Carlyle Strategic Partners II. Carlyle raised more than half of the fund this year to invest in financially distressed companies. Citigroup also had an interim close of $1.3 billion for Citi Infrastructure Fund. Citigroup’s first infrastructure fund was launched in May 2007, and could pursue investments in transportation, utilities and social opportunities.

The second quarter kicks off in the wake of the Q1 in whcih Clayton Dubilier & Rice raised $2 billion for Clayton Dubilier & Rice Fund VIII. Still, the amount of buyout funds raised this year is on pace to fall short of last year’s $292 million that buyout funds raised.

Deals Completed

U.S.-based LBO shops completed 245 control-stake transactions since the start of 2008. From this list, 58 had disclosed values that reached nearly $47 billion. There has only been one mega-deal this year, namely the $27.8 billion leveraged buyout of casino operator Harrah’s Entertainment Inc. by Apollo Management and TPG in January. The Harrah’s deal represents more than half of the combined value of completed transactions in 2008. Indeed, billion-dollar deals have been scarce. Only nine closed so far in 2008, as smaller transactions have been the norm.

The largest completed deal during the last two weeks is Dubai Aerospace Enterprise’s $435 million sale of its Landmark Aviation business to GTCR Golder Rauner and Encore FBO.

The largest transaction this early in the second quarter is Yucaipa Cos.’s purchase of the remaining 79.3% controlling stake that it did not already own of Americold Realty Trust from joint venture partners Vornado Realty Trust and Crescent Real Estate Equities Co. This deal was valued at about $220 million.