Market at a Glance: Fundraising is $100 bln higher than this time last year

Cortec leads the charge as buyout and mezzanine fundraising overall is $100 billion more than at this point in 2018. But dealmaking has not enjoyed such a robust year.

It’s been a good year for U.S.-based buyout and mezzanine fundraising. Since the last issue of Buyouts, fund managers added $6.5 billion to the year-to-date total, currently at more than $281.4 billion. That’s $100 billion more than at this point in 2018, with still a month left of fundraising in the calendar year.

Cortec Group led the charge with the close of its seventh mid-market fund, which hit its hard cap of $2 billion. The fund is the largest in the firm’s history, nearly twice the size of its previous flagship that closed in 2015.

Sightway Capital was not far behind, raising $1.2 billion for its first private equity fund, which will focus on financial services and real estate. Sightway Capital is the PE arm of Two Sigma Investments.

Alpine Investors also crossed the billion-dollar threshold, closing Fund VII on its hard cap of $1 billion. Evercore acted as placement agent while Kirkland & Ellis provided legal counsel.

Healthcare Royalty Partners added to the frenzy with its fourth mezzanine fund, which raised $659.4 million. So did SK Capital, which closed its debut small cap fund on $400 million, beating its original $300 million.

Dealmaking has not enjoyed the robust year of fundraising. The 2019 year-to-date total is currently $154 billion, $110 billion less in volume than the year-to-date total in 2018.

Only one deal crossed the billion-dollar hurdle: Blackstone Real Estate Income Trust Inc, a unit of Blackstone, acquired the Bellagio Hotel & Casino from MGM Resorts International for $4.25 billion. BREIT owns 95 percent while MGM the remaining 5 percent on completion.