Private equity fund raising up in 2007: report

(Reuters) - U.S. private equity firms’ fund raising increased 19 percent in 2007, amidst credit market turmoil that shook financial markets worldwide, according to the January issue of industry newsletter Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst.

Private equity firms, which generally take controlling stakes in companies by borrowing most of the money and then selling stakes in the companies they acquire, raised $302 billion in 415 funds in 2007.

The firms had raised $255 billion in 404 funds during 2006.

Private equity funds have found it increasingly difficult to finance buyout deals as the credit crunch prevented banks from lending money to buyout firms.

According to the news letter, leveraged buyout (LBO) and corporate finance funds accounted for 75 percent of all commitments, while venture capital fund raising continued to account for a much smaller portion of overall fundraising than it did during the technology boom.

During 2007, LBO and corporate finance funds raised $228 billion in 182 funds, up 29 percent from the previous year.

In 2007, venture capital funds raised more than $32 billion in 141 funds, compared with $27 billion raised in 136 venture funds in 2006.

Reporting by Sanjay Vijayakumar in Bangalore, Editing by Pratish Narayanan