The Wall Street Journal: Wall Street’s buyout kings are set for the best year since 2007

Financial Services

The animal spirits are returning to the leveraged-buyout business.

At $156 billion, this year is on pace to have the highest dollar volume of LBOs since 2007 and is about 44% above last year’s comparable level, according to Dealogic.

A recent series of double-digit-billion deals by Blackstone Group LP

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KKR & Co.

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 , Carlyle Group LP and others recall buyouts struck on the eve of the financial crisis, at least in terms of size.

The firms are collectively sitting on more than $1 trillion of cash they must invest to collect lucrative fees from their investors. The pace of private-equity fundraising, including more than $500 billion raked in last year alone, has led to concern about their ability to spend all that cash profitably, especially with equity valuations running near all-time highs.

An expanded version of this report appears at

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