Private equity ‘overhang’ tops $1 trillion
By Dan Primack March 5, 2014: 11:29 AM ET
Dry Powder Mountain?
FORTUNE — Private equity firms were sitting on more than $1 trillion in available capital at the end of 2013, according to a new report from Bain & Company.
Not only is this an increase from year-end 2012 ($941 billion), but also is the largest “dry powder” figure in the history of Bain & Company’s private equity reports. The specific 2013 number was $1.077 trillion, topping $1.056 trillion from 2008.
One major result of this glut, Bain & Co. argues, will be increased deal-making and rising valuations. Or, put another way, the capital tail will wag the deal dog.
Some other interesting findings from the report:
- Around $427 billion of the 2013 capital is specifically allocated to buyout investments, with 80% of that money being raised since 2011.
- Bain & Co. estimates that private equity firms own just 5% of all U.S. businesses with annual revenue of $10 million or more.
- There were 228 U.S.-based buyouts valued at more than $1 billion between 2009 and 2013. Limited partner co-invest represented around 20% of the total value in those deals. Bain & Co. expects the LP co-investment trend to accelerate, and effectively add to the capital overhang.
- Average debt-to-EBITDA multiples hit 5.3x for U.S. buyouts last year (6-year high) and 4.7x for European buyouts (5-year high).
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