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Back to blog January 17, 2019 2 Comments Author: Andy Jones

Private Equity Holding Period Distribution – 2018 Exits

Our private equity database recorded 998 portfolio company exits in 2018. This is considerably fewer exits compared to recent years.
Year – # of Exits
2018 –   998
2017 – 1,316
2016 – 1,263
2015 – 1,351
2014 – 1,291

As previously discussed, the median holding period declined to 4.7 years in 2018, down from 5.0 in 2017. The chart below shows the holding period distribution for 2018 private equity company exits.

Private Equity Holding Durations - 2018

Notice there’s still a distinct bump out in year 11, which represents portfolio companies acquired circa 2007, right before the recession. It took these companies 11 years to climb back up to valuations that made sense for an exit.

For comparison purposes, here are the same charts for 2017 and 2016.

Private Equity Holding Durations - 2017


Private Equity Holding Durations - 2016


alfredo vieyra 4 years ago

What geographies does this study covers? Is there more data available? (e.g. description of each exit)

Andy Jones 4 years ago


Thank you for your comment. This covers the private equity buyout firms in our database, which is global in nature. We do have business profiles available for each portfolio company transaction, available via subscription.

To learn more, watch some of our video demos as well.