US PE mega-deals and exits are rapidly gaining steam
In 2021, PE firms pursued massive deals fortified by low interest rates, an excess of dry powder, and the growing crowd of mega-funds. The trend toward larger deals was pervasive, as indicated by mega-deals–transactions sized $1 billion or more–accounting for 32% of all US PE deal activity.
Simultaneously, PE firms successfully exited portfolio companies at impressive values, thanks to elevated transaction multiples across sectors and cash-rich buyers.
Our latest analyst note breaks down the data behind PE mega-deals.
- 2021 witnessed the hottest year in both mega-deal and mega-exit activity, setting records in transaction count and value.
- Public listings dominated mega-exits, compared with exits to corporates and other sponsors, with 75 PE-backed companies listed at valuations above $1 billion, a record far beyond previous annual numbers.
- Macroeconomic factors such as expected interest rate hikes and increased government scrutiny for large M&A could impede mega-deal and mega-exit activity in the near future, but many investors maintain their positive growth outlook.
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