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 BX, -0.24% KKR & Co. KKR, -0.09% , 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.
Popular at WSJ.com