Record fundraising year for France

French private equity raised €12bn in 2005, five times the €2.2bn accumulated in 2004, according to the annual figures published by AFIC, the French private equity association, in association with PricewaterhouseCoopers. Over half the money raised came from outside the country, a significant increase on the previous year, where around 75% came from domestic sources.

Investment activity was also up from 2004, with €8.1bn invested, compared to €5bn in 1,812. The number of investments was also up, from 1,812 to 2,072. Buyouts invested €6.3bn in 2005, a massive 70.5% increase, with 1,363 investments in 890 companies. Venture saw €481m invested in start-ups, a 21.5% increase, and €954m in development capital, a 37.3% jump.

Exits also recorded a good year, with a 35% increase in value, from €3.1bn to €4.2bn, through 1,346 companies. Over two-thirds of last year’s divestments came through trade sales, sales to management and IPOs.