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Apollo Holds Final Close for Buyout Fund at $18.4 Billion

Apollo Global Management LLC, the private-equity firm run by Leon Black, completed raising its next buyout fund at $18.4 billion, making it the largest pool gathered since the financial crisis.

Apollo Investment Fund VIII LP amassed $17.5 billion in capital from third parties, the New York-based firm said today in a statement. Apollo and affiliated investors, including senior professionals, pledged about $880 million.

The firm, which attracted commitments from investors amid profitable sales, has gathered the industry’s largest buyout fund since 2008, when markets seized up during the global financial crisis. Blackstone Group LP previously held that distinction, raising $16.2 billion for its main buyout fund at the beginning of 2012.

Apollo last year received investor approval to increase the limit on its latest fund to $17.5 billion from $15 billion amid excess investor interest. The fund is 25 percent larger than the prior vehicle, a $14.7 billion pool raised in 2008.

The performance of the 2008 fund has been helped by Apollo’s most profitable investment, LyondellBasell Industries NV, whose debt the firm started accumulating six years ago. The 2008 fund was producing a net internal rate of return of 29 percent as of Sept. 30, according to the firm’s earnings report for the third quarter.

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