Carlyle tops ground-breaking league table

The PEI 50, a new ranking from Private Equity International magazine, reveals The Carlyle Group has the largest private equity direct-investment programme in the world, having raised $32.5 billion in the last five years.

The Carlyle Group has raised more capital in the last five years than any other firm to take first place in the first ever ranking of the world’s 50 largest private equity direct investment programmes by size.

Together these firms have raised a total of $551 billion of equity capital since 2002. This impressive buying power is among the findings of the PEI 50, a new ranking created by PEO’s sister title Private Equity International magazine.

Carlyle heads the fiercely contested field with a total of $32.5 billion, followed by Kohlberg Kravis Roberts which raised $31.1 billion in the same period. US bank Goldman Sachs’ principal investment arm took third spot, raising just $100m less than runner-up KKR.

Permira, CVC Capital Partners and Apax Partners are the only European houses in the top 10.  Pacific Equity Partners is the sole representative from outside North America and Europe to make the list of 50 firms.

Click here for a PDF of the executive summary.

Firms were ranked by the amount of capital they have raised for direct private equity investment over the past five years. The launch of the PEI 50 marks the first time that private equity firms have been ranked by size using a consistent methodology.

Josh Lerner, Jacob H Schiff Professor of Investment Banking at Harvard Business School, said: “Private equity is a rapidly maturing industry, and with its increased size and visibility comes intense interest and curiosity about its working. This list should be a helpful tool for those who seek to understand the industry and its important economic role more clearly.”  

PEI 50 firms currently manage $11 billion on average. Applying a five times leverage multiple to their equity capital raised, they have total buying power of $2.76 trillion. They have accounted for 75 percent of total private equity deal activity globally since 2002 and, according to Dealogic, have paid an estimated $35.8 billion in fees to investment banks over the same time period.

Private Equity International will publish the PEI 50 once a year.

Complete profiles of the PEI 50 firms and an analysis of their fundraising and deal-making activity can be found in the May 2007 issue of Private Equity International. Get your firm’s copy here.