June 6 (Reuters) - Advent International, one of the world's largest buyout firms, said on Thursday it raised $17.5 billion for its latest fund, surpassing the $16 billion target it had set.
The private equity firm took just over six months to secure the money for its ninth fund, named GPE IX. It raised $13 billion for its previous global investment vehicle bit.ly/2wAY73y in 2016.
The strong fundraising underscores how investors are brushing aside concerns over the private equity sector overheating, as they search for returns that beat the stock market by a wide margin.
Advent's fund will focus on business and financial services, healthcare, industrial, retail and consumer, and technology, media and telecommunications, areas where Advent has considerable "experience and knowledge," the statement said.
In April, Blackstone, the world largest alternative asset manager, raised over $22 billion in its latest buyout fund, setting it on course to be the private equity industry's biggest ever.
In 2018, 1,175 private equity funds raised a combined $426 billion with the $18.5 billion Caryle Partners VIII fund being the largest. At the beginning of 2019 there were 3,750 private equity funds in market seeking a total of $977 billion, according to industry tracker Preqin.
Advent, founded in 1984, said its ninth global private equity fund saw significant demand from existing investors and over 90% of the fund's commitments came from limited partners in prior Advent funds.
The fund's recent global fund investments include Aimbridge Hospitality, BioDuro, Deutsche Fachpflege Gruppe, INNIO, Laird, Manjushree Technopack, Prisma Medios de Pago, Walmart Brazil and Zentiva. (Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)