Early quarter-end data from PitchBook show declines in global PE deal activity, exits and fundraising for the first quarter of 2014.
After closing 992 deals worth $209.3 billion in 4Q 2013, PE firms completed just 850 worth $152.5 billion in 1Q 2014. The majority of the decline was due to a 14% quarterly slide in North American deal flow. European PE activity was down 10% in 1Q, the third consecutive quarterly decline for the continent. In fact, quarterly European deal flow has declined 37% since 2Q 2013. Global capital invested declined for the first time in 1Q 2014 to $152.5 billion, the lowest total since the $137 billion invested in 2Q 2013.
To view more on private equity trends in 1Q 2014, click the image to the right or check out the full datagraphic at the bottom.
Exits weren’t stellar, either. Coming off a relatively strong fourth quarter, global exit counts were down in the first quarter, sliding 31% overall. Capital exited was down a bit, as well, totaling $67.7 billion. That was down from a hefty $87.5 billion in the fourth quarter but above the $61 billion recorded in 3Q 2013.
The fundraising environment in the first quarter wasn’t as robust as 4Q 2013. The $62 billion raised by PE firms in 1Q was down about 45% from the previous quarter, and the 91 funds that closed in the first quarter represented a 25% decline from the 122 that closed in 4Q 2013. Eighty-four percent of funds met their fundraising targets in the first quarter, up from 76% in 4Q, and the average time to close funds in 1Q increased to 17.5 months, up from 14.7 months in 4Q.
Platform buyouts were noticeably less popular in 1Q 2014. The 286 platform buyouts completed in the first quarter were well off the quarterly average of 394.5 in 2013, even as add-on deals continued their upward trend (315 in 1Q 2014 versus an average of 296 in 2013).