Private equity and venture capital fundraising up by 80%, EVCA says

The European private equity and venture capital industry fundraising increased by 80% in 2011, reaching its highest levels since 2008, according to the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA).

The EVCA annual activity survey has found that nearly €40bn was raised in Europe last year across the industry as a whole, with investments up by 50% compared to the previous year and back at 2005-2006 levels.

Karsten Langer, chairman of the EVCA said: “With investment activity up significantly during 2011 private equity and venture capital are clearly contributing to recovery in Europe. In 2011, fully 85% of the 4,800 companies backed were SMEs, and nearly half employed less than 20 people. It is these businesses that will drive growth and emergence from recession, and private equity investment is helping them to achieve their ambitions.”

According to Langer, an 80% leap in fundraising demonstrates that investors from pension funds to charities are increasingly turning to private equity and venture capital to deliver long-term, sustainable returns in a climate of uncertainty in Europe.

In 2011 venture capital funds saw a 50% growth of their fundraising activity, while buyout and growth funds doubled inflows in 2011.

About 65% of the total new funds raised came from European countries and about 35% from the rest of the world. During the period, UK and Ireland, Nordic countries and France and Benelux managed more than 83% of the amount raised in 2011.

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