PE Fundraising Falls 61%, Lowest Total Since 2004

Private equity fundraising fell off a cliff in 2009, according to figures released this morning by research company Preqin. Nothing shocking here, although it’s always good to have data backing up a narrative we pushed for the past 12 months.

Preqin reports that 482 global funds raised $246 billion last year, which is down 61% from the $636 billion raised in 2008. It’s also the weakest yearly total since 2004. The fourth quarter was actually the 2009 lowpoint, with just $35 billion raised by 75 funds.

As a quick methodology note, Prequin attributes dollars to when a fund holds its final close, as opposed to when the commitments are circled. In other words, a firm could hold a $1 billion first close in 2008, add another $200 million in 2009 and the entire $1.2 billion would be considered 2009 money.

From a sub-asset class perpective: 84 buyout funds raised $102 billion; 170 venture funds raised $27 billion and 96 real estate firms raised $41 billion.

Download the Preqin fact sheet here