The value of private equity transactions in the first half of 2011 increased 39% over the first six months of last year, according to a report by Freeman & Co.
The report cited 48 deals totaling $14.9 billion in the first half of 2011 vs. the same number of deals totaling $8 billion in the first six months of 2010.
The average transaction size in the first half of 2011 was $309.4 million, up 38.9% from the average in the same period a year earlier.
Three of the 48 transactions were in asset management, totaling $187 million. That’s the same number as the first half of 2010, but the value of the 2010 deals was higher, totaling $273 million.
Eric Weber, managing director and COO, said he is reasonably optimistic about the sector. “It’s on pace to have two back-to-back years of over $30 billion in transaction values,” he said in a telephone interview.
The first half of 2011 also saw $9 billion in exits completed, compared to $10 billion in completed exits throughout all of 2010.
“These firms need to eventually return capital to their investors so I think you’re seeing good recycling of this capital, which is healthy,” said Mr. Weber.