Private equity (PE) firms invested in 2,306 middle market (MM) deals totaling $324.1 billion in 2017. Given that most PE activity occurs in the MM, it is unsurprising that activity in the MM mirrors many of the same trends we see broadly across PE: deal flow remains flat, exits are trending downward, and fundraising continues unabated. PitchBook's 2017 Annual US PE Middle Market highlights key trends shaping US PE within the last year; in addition to providing insights for what to expect in 2018.
Deal value was up 14% year-over-year, largely attributable to a shift in activity towards the upper middle market (UMM), which saw a 46% increase in deal value and a 62% increase in volume.
A slowdown in strategic acquisitions had ramifications for the PE exit market in 2017 with strategic acquisition accounting for just 421 exits of PE-sponsored MM companies, totaling $49.0 billion in value.
US MM fundraising continued to be strong in 2017, with $121.9 billion raised across 174 funds. 4Q was a particularly strong quarter with $40.1 billion in commitments closed during the final three months of the year.
Note: This report was updated to correct a typo in the spelling of a name of a provider of Deloitte-sponsored content on February 7, 2018.
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