EUROPE – Pension funds were the largest contributors to European private equity vehicles in 2002, according to a new report.

“Pension funds were the largest contributors to private equity vehicles in 2002, providing 31% of capital raised in the year by those funds contained within Initiative Europe’s survey sample,” said Initiative Europe.

The findings appear to contradict recent figures from the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. The EVCA found that pension funds had significantly decreased their investments in the European private equity industry in 2002.

EVCA said last month that in 2002 just 4.3 billion euros in capital was raised from pension funds – around 16.3% of the total – compared to 10.2 billion euros in 2001 – 26.8% of the total.

Initiative Europe said that total capital raised fell to 23.8 billion euros, down 37% from 37.8 billion euros in 2001. The number of funds declined to 83 from 135. Private equity hit a peak of 40.9 billion euros in 2000.

IE surveyed 48 western European funds that closed in the year, raising up around 20 billion euros.

Observers are expecting the European private equity market to pick up in 2003 and 2004.

© IPE International Publishers Limited | Conditions