As is so often the case with these sorts of things, Blackstone is leading the way. The world’s biggest private equity firm could target as much as $30 billion for a new fund this year, per a Bloomberg report from last year. That would surpass Blackstone’s previous vehicle as the biggest pool of capital in the history of the industry.
Depending on how the next several months unfold, however, a different firm might seize that title, instead. The Carlyle Group is said to be eying a $27 billion fund, which is also larger than any other private equity vehicle that’s ever been raised. Advent International reportedly holds hopes of raising $25 billion. Thoma Bravo has begun marketing a new fund that could reach $22 billion, according to Buyouts, a process that began less than a year after it closed a $17.8 billion fund. Fellow tech investor Vista Equity Partners reportedly plans to launch a new fund later this year that could target as much as $24 billion, again per Buyouts.
It’s a lengthy list. If the seven U.S.-based firms I’ve mentioned in the preceding paragraphs (all except Hg) were to close their funds this year and reach their reported targets, it would add up to a whopping $130 billion across just eight different vehicles. Again, for comparison’s sake, there was just over $300 billion in total capital raised in the U.S. last year across 389 total funds, per PitchBook. The all-time record is $326.1 billion. It seems fair to begin wondering whether that mark is in danger.
If they materialize as planned, those vehicles will all be part of a new generation of private equity mega-funds expected to emerge this year. Fundraising tends to move a bit more slowly than the rest of the private equity market. After all, it can take some time to pull together $20 billion or so from a network of global investors. But after the dealmaking frenzy of 2021, when more than $1.2 trillion in private equity transactions took place in the U.S. alone, per PitchBook, many of the biggest private equity firms are now refilling their coffers.