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Private Equity Is Starting 2020 With More Cash Than Ever Before

  • Industry has $1.5 trillion in unspent capital, a record
  • There was about $450 billion worth of PE deals in 2019
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Dec. 20: PE Managers Seek Defensive Plays, Says Hayfin’s Lehmler-Brown

Private equity firms are ready to pounce in 2020, armed with a record level of cash.

Firms led by Blackstone Group Inc. and Carlyle Group LP have amassed almost $1.5 trillion in unspent capital, the highest year-end total on record, according to data compiled by Preqin. While last year saw roughly $450 billion worth of private equity deals, M&A activity this year could be on a scale not seen since the financial crisis.

“We’re entering the year with people feeling much better about the economic and geopolitical outlook than was the case a year ago,” said Jason Thomas, global head of research at private equity giant Carlyle.