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Blackstone eyes $1 trillion AUM; tech bets pay off in PE performance rankings

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Blackstone eyes $1 trillion AUM; tech bets pay off in PE performance rankings

S&P Global Market Intelligence offers our top picks of global private equity news stories and more published throughout the week.

Blackstone Inc. Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman expects a landmark development for the publicly traded alternative asset manager sometime in 2022: $1 trillion in AUM.

Schwarzman made the prediction during Blackstone's fourth-quarter 2021 earnings call, noting that the firm is on track to reach the milestone about four years ahead of schedule. The company's 2018 forecast had it hitting $1 trillion of AUM in 2026.

The target date moved up after what Schwarzman described as a "remarkable" 2021, with the company setting new records on a variety of performance metrics, including record highs for fee-related and distributable earnings. Fundraising in 2021 brought in more than a quarter-trillion dollars, boosting AUM 42% for the year to a total of $881 billion.

For more on the firm's record 2021 and outlook for 2022, click here.

CHART OF THE WEEK: Private equity firm performance rankings

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Technology-focused middle-market firm Accel-KKR LLC topped the 2021 edition of the annual HEC-DowJones Private Equity Performance Rankings with what professor Oliver Gottschalg, who developed the rankings, described as a "1-in-1,000-type" of performance over a 10-year period.

Tech- and software-focused firms have been top performers in the rankings in recent years, highlighting one potential path to private equity success over the past decade.

While big firms "tend to grow themselves to death" and drop off Gottschalg's rankings, he is working with an assistant to understand why some large firms, including Hellman & Friedman LLC and Clayton Dubilier & Rice LLC, have hung in there. Stay tuned.

FUNDRAISING AND DEALS

* The Carlyle Group Inc. finalized its buyout of cloud computing and data center service company Involta LLC from M/C Partners.

The private equity firm and Blackstone Inc. are exploring making a joint bid for Novartis AG's Sandoz AG generics unit, alongside other potential buyers such as EQT AB (publ) and previous owner, the Struengmann family.

* Vista Equity Partners affiliates and Evergreen Coast Capital Corp., an Elliott Investment Management LP affiliate, signed a deal to buy Citrix Systems Inc. for $16.5 billion in cash, including the assumption of the cloud-computing company's debt.

* Funds managed by Apollo Global Management Inc. affiliates will provide a $760 million minority investment to global media company Legendary Entertainment.

* Cinven Ltd. will acquire U.K.-based life insurance company International Financial Group Ltd.

ELSEWHERE IN THE INDUSTRY

* Great Hill Partners LP raised $4.65 billion for the Great Hill Equity Partners VIII LP fund, which will target middle-market technology-enabled companies, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing co-founder and Managing Director Chris Gaffney.

* InfraVia Capital Partners and Irish fixed broadband group eir Ltd. will form a fiber joint venture in Ireland with the aim of reaching 1.9 million premises by the end of 2026.

* Nonantum Capital Partners LLC secured $575 million for its second private equity vehicle.

* ArchiMed SAS' MED I fund exited French health ingredients developer Fytexia SAS in a deal with buyer Associated British Foods PLC.

FOCUS ON: HEALTHCARE SERVICES

* KKR & Co. Inc., Permira Advisers Ltd., Bain Capital LP, CVC Capital Partners Ltd., Carlyle and PAI Partners are weighing making preliminary bids of up as much as €2 billion for a controlling interest in Spanish fertility company IVI-RMA, Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources.

* Silverfleet Capital Partners agreed to divest its stake in U.K.-based fertility clinic operator Care Fertility Holdings Ltd. to Nordic Capital.

* Primary care physician group Physician Partners received a $500 million investment led by Kinderhook Industries LLC.