Goldman Sachs plans to raise a $7bn private equity fund, according to the Financial Times. The fund would join a growing list of very large private equity investment vehicles that have already launched or are expected to launch in the coming months.
US groups Warburg Pincus and the Blackstone Group are expected to launch funds this year with targets in excess of $8bn. The Carlyle Group has already held a first close on its latest US buy-out fund and is expected to reach a final close of around $6.5bn towards the end of the first quarter.
A string of European firms, including BC Partners and CVC, are expected to raise funds of more than €4bn this year and Apax is already more than €3bn into its latest fundraising.
Goldman Sachs, which has refused to comment on the story, is relatively unusual among investment banks in retaining such a strong interest in its own direct investment activities. Many, such as Deutsche Bank and UBS, effectively stopped making direct investments after the downturn in financial markets in 2001.
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