Private equity funds in Asia received an aggregate US$42 billion through exits in 2014, 68% higher than that of 2013, despite the number of exit deals dropping 16% to 270 last year, according to data firm Preqin.
Globally, private equity funds enjoyed a year of strong exit activities as stock markets rallied. A total of 1,604 exit deals with total deal value of US$428 billion were recorded in 2014, the highest ever aggregate exit value for the industry and up 30% compared to 2013.
"Many managers were still looking to exit deals done in the pre-crisis years, and have been waiting for improved selling conditions," says Christopher Elvin, head of private equity products at Preqin.
As a result, private equity fund managers returned record amount of capital back to limited partners (LPs), with capital returned to LPs as of June 2014 almost surpassing that of the whole year of 2013.
In 2013, private equity fund managers returned US$226 billion back to LPs. In comparison, at the end of June 2014, the latest data available, private equity funds have already returned US$224 billion back to LPs, meaning 2014 is set to be another record-breaking year.
The past year has also been a banner year for investment deals as well. A total of 3,423 private equity-backed deals were announced globally in 2014, with an aggregate deal value of US$332 billion, the highest aggregate deal value since 2007 and a 10% increase from 2013.
North America still leads in terms of deal-making, as the region recorded US$181 billion worth of deals in 2014, taking up over half of the global total despite a 2% fall from the previous year.