There were so many $10 billion funds, in fact, that we found it appropriate to create an informal club of sorts.
It was a quieter 2018 in terms of such tremendous tallies. But the early indications are that 2019 might bring another increase in the frequency of eyebrow-raising sums for buyout funds.
A recent note from our analyst team offered an overview of PE mega-fund strategy, breaking down more than 15 years of data and presenting the cases for and against investing in mega-funds from an LP perspective. And in a more forward-looking move, the note also scans the current PE landscape to highlight some of the mega-funds that are currently being raised or will soon be in the works.
Spoiler alert: There are a lot of them. Here's a sampling of just some of the firms that could close funds on $10 billion or more—in some cases, a lot more—over the course of the next several months:
BlackstoneThe investment giant has begun raising cash for its eighth flagship buyout fund, which is believed to have a target of $20 billion—a lofty mark only a few other firms have ever before reached. Funnily enough, though, Blackstone is one of those firms: Back in 2007, it closed its fifth flagship fund on $21.7 billion. The New York-based firm's latest efforts have been slightly more modest, including an $18 billion Fund VII that closed in 2015.
Vista Equity PartnersIt's now been more than five months since a Wall Street Journal report emerged indicating that Vista had already raised $11.4 billion toward a $16 billion target for its latest vehicle, a rapid turnaround from its $11 billion fund from 2017 that continued a steady ascent to prominence for the tech-investing specialist. A vehicle of that size would set a new firm record, and it's also believed it would surpass Silver Lake's $15 billion effort from 2017 as the largest pure buyout fund ever focused on the tech sector. Thoma Bravo, another prominent PE firm with a clear tech focus, closed a $12.6 billion fund of its own in late January, the first $10 billion-plus effort of 2019.
Advent InternationalIt's a busy fundraising year on multiple fronts for Advent International, including the recent launch of a new $1 billion tech fund. In even bigger news, a Private Equity International report from late March revealed the Boston-based investor has set a hard cap of $20 billion for its latest flagship fund, a major step-up from a $13 billion predecessor; public LP documents from earlier this year indicated Advent has already begun gathering commitments.
TPG CapitalIt's been an up-and-down past decade-plus for TPG Capital's flagship fund family, including a $19.8 billion monster that closed in 2008 and a much-smaller $10.5 billion follow-up in 2016. In its current ongoing effort, the firm seems to be splitting the difference: according to reports from late 2018, TPG had already raised $12 billion toward a targeted $14 billion for its eighth flagship fund and a related healthcare vehicle. Just last month, meanwhile, TPG hauled in $4.6 billion for a new PE fund focused on Asia.
Warburg PincusIn yet another example of a firm that's already well on its way to raising an enormous pool of cash, Warburg Pincus has already received $14 billion in commitments for its latest flagship fund, per a Bloomberg report from last November, blowing past a $13.5 billion goal. It's believed Warburg Pincus could ultimately bring in as much as $17 billion for the global growth fund, a major step-up from a $13.4 billion predecessor from 2015.
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Check out our latest analyst note on mega-fund strategy.