View all insights

Global Buyout Fundraising Declines & Returns May Soften

New York, USA - 24 February 2020 – The latest Private Capital Market Outlook from the CEPRES Platform shows buyout fundraising in the US declined 25% and Europe declined 20% vs a strong Q3. Activity remained high compared to previous years but shows a softening appetite going into 2020.

From a performance perspective, US buyout funds have outperformed Europe by a significant margin across most vintages since 2007 with Europe outperforming only slightly in 2016. Looking through the 7,700 funds to 79,000 PE-backed deals on CEPRES, transaction volume remains high in both Europe and the US for Buyouts and Venture. The last 6 years have seen a general decline in Gross Returns across both regions, which is likely to be reflected in softening fund net IRRs going into the next decade. 2017 and 2018 returns especially in Europe are still negatively impacted by the J-Curve effect, whereas the US counterparties already produce decent returns since the fast increase in valuations offsets initial fees already.

All analysis is generated via investment and portfolio due diligence conducted on the CEPRES Platform by investment counterparties based on live transactional data. More information and further detailed analysis are available to CEPRES clients and upon request.

Upper Quartile Buyout Fund Net IRR by Vintage Year                                                                       Source: CEPRES Platform                                                     Copyright © 2020 CEPRES GmbH The full report is available to CEPRES subscribers.


The fundamentals of the US economy remain strong and are helping drive capital into buyout and venture investments. Whilst fund returns remain higher than Europe, macro-economic and capital headwinds are starting to impact on fundraising and deal returns globally. GPs and LPs need to be data driven in underwriting their investments and CEPRES has proven to provide the best investment intelligence to drive returns. In the current market we advise investors and managers alike to analyze potential losses and defaults closely. Measuring and benchmarking Deal Loss & Recovery rates alongside IRR returns can provide great insights.

Dr. Daniel Schmidt, Founder & CEO, CEPRES.

Due diligence
Portfolio monitoring
Market research
Placement agents
Limited partners

Read next


Private Markets Rebound: Why Effective Due Diligence is Mission Critical

After two years of stagnation, private investors (LPs) are eager to deploy new capital. Activity is rising, but in today’s volatile market, disciplined due diligence is vital. Selecting the right General Partner (GP) and understanding their return strategies across economic cycles are more critical than ever.

Dive into our whitepaper to strengthen your investment approach and ensure you navigate these challenges successfully.


Private Equity Asset Allocation Models: Why High-Quality Data is Paramount

Private equity asset allocation models are sophisticated frameworks used by investors to strategically distribute their capital across different types of assets within the private equity universe. Asset allocation decisions involve determining the appropriate mix of investments across various asset classes, such as venture capital, growth equity, and buyouts, as well as considering factors like industry focus, geographic allocation, fund type, risk management strategies, and liquidity considerations.


Benedikt Hoefelmayr interviewed at BAI AIC 2024

Watch Benedikt Hoefelmayr's full interview at BAI AIC on Private Equity Liquidity Management in times of ELTIF2.

Client Exclusives

Private credit: Spotlight on deals — the winners and losers & bounce back from the crisis

Read more

Navigating Private Debt: A Deep Dive into Historical Risk and Returns

Read more