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Blackstone Tops KKR as Largest Private Equity Dealmaker in 2011

Blackstone Group LP, the world’s largest private equity firm, was the industry’s biggest dealmaker in 2011 with $26.8 billion in transactions, according to Bloomberg Rankings.

The New York-based firm reached 48 deals, including both purchases and sales, the study shows. Blackstone led in acquisition dollar volume, making 37 purchases valued at $21.4 billion.

The rankings are based on data from Bloomberg and Private Equity International, and include transactions announced but not necessarily completed by Dec. 31. Terminated deals are excluded.

Blackstone, led by Chief Executive Officer Stephen Schwarzman, has been ahead of competitors in gathering new capital and last month finished raising $16.2 billion for the sixth-biggest private-equity fund ever, according to London-based researcher Preqin Ltd. Blackstone’s largest deal last year was the purchase of Centro Properties Group’s U.S. shopping centers for $9.4 billion in June.

KKR & Co., also based in New York, was the year’s second-ranked buyout firm, agreeing to 34 announced deals valued at $19.5 billion, including 29 acquisitions worth $14.1 billion. Both firms were less active than others on the exit side, ranking outside the industry’s top 10.

Nordic Capital Svenska AB ranked as the top seller, reaching six exits totaling $15.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Rankings. That may help the Stockholm-based firm in its marketing efforts, as Nordic Capital is seeking to raise a new fund, according to two people with knowledge of the plans. DLJ Merchant Banking Partners, based in New York, was second with four sales in 2011 worth $13.9 billion.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, based in Toronto, was among the most active as both a buyer and seller. The pension plan made six acquisitions valued at $10.4 billion and two sales worth $8.8 billion. Canada’s pension plans have become more active as direct investors in recent years and put less emphasis on their holdings in other funds.

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