The latest US PE Breakdown serves as a snapshot of the primary trends shaping the entire US private equity landscape, midway through 2018. With analysis of primary investment and exit trends, to a spotlight on long-dated funds, the report also contains multiple datasets, such as dealmaking by size and sector. Lead sponsor PwC contributed a Q&A as well, packed with insightful commentary on current market trends from their industry experts' perspective.
The first half of 2018 proved to be a hotbed for PE activity; 2,247 deals were completed totaling $263.9 billion in value—representing a 2% increase in volume and a 6% decrease in value compared to the first half of 2017. Activity continues to be driven by easy access to credit and sustained strength in fundraising that has resulted in a buildup of dry powder.
The proportion of PE targets that were publicly traded at the time of acquisition has been cut in half, from a recent high of 2.9% in 2011 to just 1.4% through the first half of 2018. Concurrently, PE firms are now more likely to source deals from companies with VC backing (3.7% of deals in 1H 2018), coinciding with PE’s growing interest in software businesses.
PE fundraising in the first half of 2018 is off to a slow start in comparison to the prolific numbers achieved in 2017, though still strong by historic standards. A combined 50 funds raised $32.1 billion in 2Q.
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