Private equity fundraising at lowest in six years

Private equity fundraising dropped to its lowest levels in six years over 2010, according to information released by Preqin today.

Just $225 billion (£145 billion) was raised by the 484 funds that achieved a final close in 2010.

The fourth quarter was expected to provide some signs of recovery, but ended with $32 billion having been raised, making it the slowest quarter since the third quarter of 2003.

European fundraising has been singled out as particularly poor. There were 122 European-focused funds that closed in 2010, raising an aggregate $50.2 billion.

The 118 Asia and Rest of World-focused funds that closed accounted for $41.1 billion, with $134.6 billion being raised by 242 North America-focused funds. (article continues below)

The largest fund to close in 2010 was Blackstone Capital Partners VI, a buyout fund that raised a total of $13.5 billion.

Venture funds were reported as having been the most prolific. The 102 which reached a final close in 2010 raised an aggregate $20.4 billion.

Buyout funds accounted for the largest proportion of the aggregate capital raised, with $68.5 billion having been collected by 88 such funds.

A survey of investors revealed 54% of plan to invest more capital in 2011 than 2010, with Preqin expecting fundraising to exceed $300 billion.