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EUROPE – Global private equity fundraising was significantly down in the first quarter of this year compared to last year, according to private equity information provider AltAssets.

A total of 21 funds held a final close with total commitments of 7.2 billion euros in the first quarter, compared to 38 funds closing on 14.7 billion in the first quarter of last year.

“There remains a profound nervousness about committing capital,” says Chris Davison, head of research at AltAssets, who attributes ongoing financial uncertainties, a gloomy macroeconomic outlook, and Middle East conflict to the slide in private equity fundraising activity.

Davison adds that it is unlikely that there will be much improvement in fundraising conditions “for as long as the war is clouding an already unsettled environment”.

Europe trailed its US counterpart. Nine European funds closed with commitments worth 2.1 billion euros in the first quarter, while 12 North American funds closed totalling 5.1 billion euros.

Europe’s funds comprised four venture funds, two funds of funds, one buy-out fund, one mezzanine fund and one secondaries fund. North America’s funds comprised six venture funds, four buy-out funds, one generalist and one fund of funds.

There were 15 interim fund closes totalling 1.9 billion euros. Here European funds dominated, with eight closes with 1.2 billion euros of commitments.

Last year saw 171 private equity funds close in Europe and North America, with 93.45 billion euros of commitments in total.

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