Worldwide, the private equity industry inked $636 billion of investments in 2013, an almost 13% increase over 2012’s total of $565 billion, new PitchBook data show. A large chunk of that increase came from two take-private buyouts, Dell and Heinz, which accounted for a combined $48.1 billion of the $71 billion difference.
While total capital invested was up last year, deal activity receded 5% from 2012 levels and hit its lowest mark since 2010. In fact, two deal characteristics long associated with the PE industry, platform buyouts and deals for North American-based companies, both saw noticeable declines last year. Traditional buyouts, for one, slid 13% in 2013 to 1,262 deals, which was even less than 2010’s 1,313 buyouts. North American companies didn’t garner as much attention last year as they did in 2012, either. The continent saw a 12% decline in PE investments last year compared to 2012, the first such decline in several years. Europe, on the other hand, is becoming a bigger and bigger target for the industry. Both deal activity and capital invested gained significantly in 2013, up 18% and 52%, respectively, from 2012 levels.
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