One quarter into 2018, the US middle market continues to enjoy active interest from PE dealmakers on a historical basis, even if the overall tallies of activity were muted relative to a torrid, record-setting 2018. In our 1Q 2018 US PE Middle Market Report, PitchBook research analysts pore through our datasets in order to uncover what may have contributed to that decline and how it may shape the year going forward. The report also includes insights from sponsor Antares Capital and co-sponsor Chubb, covering trends within the middle-market lending space and cyber risks for dealmakers to consider, respectively.
After a record-setting 2017 in terms of both deal value and transaction count, the US PE middle market got off to a mixed start in 1Q 2018. 619 middle-market transactions were completed, totaling $53.6 billion in deal value—a 17% increase and 40% decrease, respectively, compared to the prior year.
US MM fundraising activity has hovered at elevated levels in recent years, and 2018 is shaping up for more of the same. PE firms closed on $29 billion across 36 funds in 1Q 2018.
After totaling at least $20 billion each quarter for nearly two years, US PE middle-market exit value dipped to just $11.9 billion in 1Q 2018. In addition, just 165 exits were completed, representing a 26% falloff from the previous year.
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