Weekly wrap: Apollo buoys fund-raising total as it soars to $15B

Apollo Advisors led buyout fund-raising activity last week as the firm has raised $14 billion for its seventh fund, Apollo Investment Fund VII, including $7.6 billion this year. The fund has a $15 billion target.

Onex Corp. also collected about $3.4 billion for its third private equity fund, which has a $4.5 billion goal. The Toronto, Ontario-based firm raised more than $3.4 billion for its previous fund, which closed in 2006.

Apollo, Onex and other buyout firms elevated the year-to-date fund-raising total to $188.2 billion.

In other news, Riverstone/Carlyle Global Energy & Power Fund IV is more than halfway to reaching its $6 billion target. The fund has obtained $3.2 billion in commitments.

El Segundo, Calif.-based Lovell Minnick Partners also expects to close its third buyout fund by the end of 2008. The firm, which plans to raise $350 million for the fund, has already held a first close of $220 million. Lovell Minnick invests in financial services companies. Lovell Minnick raised about $225 million for its second fund, which closed in 2005.

Elsewhere, Nautic Partners gathered $569.7 million for Nautic Partners VI. The Providence, R.I.-based firm, which is seeking $1.2 billion for its sixth fund, invests in business services, communications, health care and manufacturing.

In addition, SCF Partners has raised $514.5 million for its seventh fund, which has a $525 million target. The Houston-based firm invests in energy service and equipment companies.

Deal activity remains slow

Whereas buyout firms are actively raising new vehicles, deal activity has not been as busy. Year-to-date deal volume crept slightly higher to $97.7 billion.

Only seven LBO transactions were tracked by Thomson Reuters (publisher of PE Week) during the past week. Great Hill Partners’s $152.3 million acquisition of CAM Commerce Solutions Inc., a developer of retailing software, was the only deal that had a disclosed price.